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01Oct92 UK: ORDERS FALL ADDS TO CONSTRUCTION 'DOUBLE DIP' FEARS.

Further evidence of a double dip in the construction recession has come to light in the latest Government figures for orders won by contractors. In the three months to July orders were 11 per cent down on the previous three months and 16 per cent down on a year ago.The hardest hit sectors of the industry were in the private sector, which saw commercial orders down 22 per cent on a year ago, industrial down 26 per cent and housing down 15 per cent.The industrial sector is affected by the inclusion of the major Glaxo contract awarded last year, which distorts the figures.Joanne Cutler, economist at the Building Employers Confederation, said: 'What is evident is that there has been a renewed dip in orders.''Most worrying is that private housing is down 15 per cent on a year ago even though most people didn't think that it could fall much further.''The renewed downturn in commercial orders in the past quarter will be a drag on any recovery in the industry.'Orders for new private housing stand at well below half the 1989 peak, while commercial orders stand at roughly half their peak level but falling fast.The figures show that since the general election there has been a further fall in orders as opposed to a predicted rise from a boost in confidence.On top of the collapse in confidence in the private sector, the construction industry is also being hit by a fall in public spending.New orders for roads - seen as a haven for construction last year - have fallen markedly since the second quarter of last year.