Contraction takes place against slight growth of UK economy as a whole

Output for the construction sector shrank by 4.7% in the first quarter, despite a slight increase in output for the economy as a whole.

Quarterly growth figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics show that the reduction in productivity for the sector was more dramatic than in the previous quarter, when it fell by 2.3% as inclement weather hit construction activity.

UK Gross Domestic Product increased by 0.5% in the first quarter, compared with a contraction of the same amount in the previous quarter.

The largest rate of growth was from transport, storage and communication, which increased by 2.7% over the period, compared with a drop of 1.7% for the last quarter of 2010.

While other drops were seen in the electricity, gas and water sectors, which saw supply decrease by 3.5%, in contrast to an increase of 4.3% in the previous quarter.