Construction industry grew 3.1% - not 2.8% - in 2011 but the outlook for 2012 remains bleak

The Office for National Statistics has revised upwards its estimate of growth in the construction industy in 2011 in its latest set of statistics.

This came despite overall growth in the economy being revised down by 0.2 percentage points to 0.7% over the year.

The ONS revised its estimate for construction growth over the period upwards in its latest national accounts from 2.8% to 3.1%.

It revised growth for the fourth quarter up to -0.2% from -0.5% in previous estimates. It also revised growth for the third quarter of the year up to 0.5% from 0.3%.

Growth for the second quarter was revised down 0.5 percentage points to 2.6% and output for the first quarter was revised up 0.2 percentage points to -1.4%.

Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Associaition, said: “2011 was probably better than most people thought it would be. As we come up to writing our next set of forecasts we are slightly more optimistic.”

Howeve, he added that the underlying reasons for why the CPA had previously forecast contraction for the industry in 2012, such as a slow down in public sector work, remained in place.