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Construction orders slip 2pc

The effects of the ongoing economic downturn have started to feed their way through in terms of reduced orders for contractors according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The figures released today show orders down 2 per cent in the 12 months to April 2008 compared with the previous year.

Orders in the three months to April 2008 were unchanged compared with the same period in 2007, and were up by one per cent on the previous quarter.

Breaking the figures down by sector shows a familiar story with positive news from the infrastructure which was up 77 per cent on the year and public sector building, up 24 per cent.

Overall orders were weighed down by a collapse in the public and private housing sector - down 17 and 8 per cent respectively.