The UK economy grew twice as fast as the growth rate expected by experts, according to the latest preliminary estimate of gross domestic product.

The GDP figure rose 0.8%, which is above trend growth and well above the 0.4% figure which was being touted as the average of the growth rates expected by experts. This suggests annual growth of 2.8%.

A significant part of the recent growth spurt is down to the contribution that construction is thought to have had. On the GDP measure, construction grew 9.5% in the second quarter of this year and 4.0% in the latest quarter.

And, if the figures are to be believed, this puts the construction industry within just 2.3% of its all-time peak level of output, having grown by 11% over the past 12 months.

No other sector has seen a bounce back anything like as much as construction over the past year. Its annual growth rate was twice that of manufacturing.

The seasonally adjusted volume index now stands at 102.4 compared with 104.8 at its peak in the first quarter of 2008 and 90.0 at the depth of the recession in the first quarter of this year.

But there is huge scepticism among the experts that follow the construction numbers that the industry has in reality enjoyed such a strong recovery. Most other indicators suggest that construction is still operating at levels well below the peak.

The figures do however suggest that the official statisticians at ONS are expecting construction output to ease in September.

I personally will be interested to see how the shape of the recession in construction (see graph) ends up matching the experience of construction firms when we start to see the next round of annual results.