Output eases off

Output of the construction industry eased off from the heights of the first quarter in the second quarter of the year but was still up on a year ago.

The total volume of new work in the second quarter was 4% lower than in the first quarter but 3% higher than in the second quarter of last year. Repair and maintenance work was 1% up on the first quarter and 2% up on last year.

Private new housing was 7% lower than in the first quarter but 3% up on the year. New commercial output was down 5% on the previous quarter but up 4% on last year.

A wider selection of products will gradually be added to all the division\'s sites, creating a network of Service Centres across the country. A 14 acre site in the west of London was due to be bought in September to open as a service centre next year.

The fall in output compared with the previous quarter is both a reflection of the high level of activity at the start of the year and poor weather at the start of the second quarter. Also, many companies closed for an extended period encompassing the Easter and May Day holidays.

New construction orders in July returned to a more normal growth rate after a June peak brought about a few extremely large contracts being placed.