In the first quarter of 2003, total orders were down on 2002 but remained close to the historically high levels that defined last year. Public housing and infrastructure were the best performers
  • DTI figures show that the total volume of orders in the first quarter of 2003 was worth £6.81bn, up 4% on the previous quarter but down 1% on 1Q02.

  • The total volume of orders remained historically high at the beginning of 2003, as it was throughout most of 2002.

  • Four sectors – public housing, private housing, infrastructure and commercial development – recorded rises both year on year and quarter on quarter.

  • Year on year, all sectors experienced an increase in the volume of orders recorded, with the exception of infrastructure.

  • Quarter on quarter, however, both the public non-residential and industrial sectors recorded declines in orders.

  • The notoriously erratic volume of infrastructure orders almost doubled (+98%) between 4Q02 and 1Q03, but dropped by 30% year on year.

  • Industrial orders were up by an annual 8% despite the continued difficulties of the manufacturing industry.