Quarterly new orders fall but EC Harris forecasts 2.2% increase in 2007 construction output and 2.5% increase in 2008

New order figures in the construction industry are 13% below the previous quarter, EC Harris has reported.

The company's Economics Survey for the UK revealed the steepest drop in the private commercial sector at 18%, while private housing fell 13% and public housing 11%.

Despite the slowdown in new orders, total construction output rose by 1% compared to the previous quarter and by 3% compared to the previous year.

Here, the private commercial sector proved most active, registering a 5% increase over the previous quarter and a 14% increase over the last year.

The report forecasts a 2.2% increase in construction output for this year and further hikes of 2.5% and 2.6% for 2008 and 2009.