The update on the preliminary GDP figures for the UK's economic growth confirm construction activity was down in the first quarter by 8.6% compared with a year earlier. This puts industry workload on a level with that last seen in the summer of 2003.

The figures have remained unchanged since the preliminary data was released roughly a month ago.

The data show the UK economy shrinking by 1.9% in the first quarter of this year and construction 2.4% down, as the industry's recession gathered pace over the winter months.

GDP and construction growth 22 05 09.jpg

These are not the official output figures for construction, which are measured on a slightly different basis. But they clearly show, as is evident from the graph produced with the GDP by gross value added series data, the seriousness of the collapse in construction work.