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Orders up 2pc

After a week of gloomy reports about the construction industry the Office of National Statistics has shone a little light on the sector by revealing continuing growth for the sector.

The ONS figures show that industry output in the 12 months to the first quarter of 2008 rose by 2 per cent compared to the same period in 2007.

Included in this figure was a four per cent rise in new build projects on the back of increases in infrastructure, private commercial and public housing work.

But figures for the industry’s bête noire sector – private housing – remained poor with output down 5 per cent over the same period.

The total construction workforce was down to 1,874,000 from a high of 1,900,000 in January, but still up on the 1,853,000 figure for the same point in 2007.