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Second quarter fall in construction output revised upwards

The UK’s economic output was pushed down by a fall in construction work – but not as steeply as previously estimated, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics said GDP fell 0.4 per cent between the first and second quarters of the year rather than the 0.5 per cent previously estimated.

Construction output fell 3 per cent in the same period, revised upwards from the 3.9 per cent fall in the last estimate.

The Construction Products Association economics director Noble Francis said the upward change in the construction statistics contributed to the improved figures for the wider economy. Construction output figures are often revised upwards because of late returns of data from businesses.

He expected GDP growth to bounce back in the third quarter to 0.5 per cent, having been depressed in the second quarter by the additional Jubilee bank holiday. Expected improvements in output for manufacturing, industrial production and services could also boost the economy.

However, output in construction could fall further in the third quarter after Olympic building work ended, and potentially as a result of building sites carrying out less work fearing transport disruption during the Games.

Mr Francis added: “Unfortunately construction is set to remain subdued. I hope it won’t fall at the rates of the first and second quarter.”

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