NEW CONSTRUCTION orders rose 9 per cent in the second quarter this year compared to the same period in 2004.
DTI figures show that orders hit £8.15 billion for the quarter. Orders for the year to June were up 5 per cent on the previous 12 months.
Housing was the strongest growth area, with private orders up 24 per cent quarter-on-quarter and public housing work up 23 per cent.
Public non-housing orders were the main faller, down 14 per cent year-on-year.
The figures will provide some relief at the Construction Products Association, whose latest trade survey showed a slowing in industry growth during the second quarter.
Association chief executive Michael Ankers said: 'Construction is facing difficult trading conditions as a result of a weakening in private sector activity. The survey results underline the importance of public sector investment.'