The volume of construction output fell by 1.1 per cent in the three months to October, according to the Office for National Statistics.
That fall represents a £295 million drop in output for the industry. New work fell by 1.8 per cent – or £340m - but repair and maintenance rose by 0.5 per cent, or £44m.
Private industrial new work showed the biggest percentage fall, down 13.5 per cent, representing £130m.
The biggest increase - 11.5 per cent, or £349m - was new infrastructure work.
The largest volume decrease was in public non housing new work, which fell by 12.6 per cent, or £456m.
October also saw a 2.5 per cent drop on September and 2.7 per cent on October 2010.
Simon Rawlinson, head of strategic research at EC Harris, said: “Two thirds of the reduction in volume has taken place in new build. Private housing and the commercial sector – expected to be the engines of recovery appear to be losing momentum, whilst activity in public non-housing, which has held up remarkably during 2011, is at its lowest level since weather-affected January.
“It is early days, but fourth quarter 2011 could prove to be the point at which public sector construction ceased to defy gravity.
“On a positive note, with output data available from 10 months of returns, it looks as if total construction volumes for 2011 could be at least 2 per cent higher than 2010 – a remarkable achievement given how sentiment has been affected during the latter half of the year.
“Unfortunately, no forecasters currently expect this performance to be repeated in 2012.”