Infrastructure, one of the top-performing sectors in the recent past, fared particularly poorly in the last three months of last year. In fact, it was a victim of its own success: a flood of orders for roads and rail work in July, August and September meant that orders suffered by comparison: they were 51% down. Overall, infrastructure orders increased 5% in 2002 compared with 2001.
The industrial sector was a poor performer in 2002. Orders fell 14% on 2001.
The most successful sector was public non-housing orders (excluding infrastructure), which benefited from a buoyant December. In 2002 the sector was 40% higher than the previous year.