Construction orders increased 5% last year compared with 1999, bolstered by large rises in the infrastructure and public non-housing sectors.
The DETR's figures for the last quarter of last year reported an increase from £22.6bn in 1999 to £23.6bn.

Orders in the fourth quarter of last year fell 1% compared with the fourth quarter 1999 from £5.64bn.

Infrastructure orders rose 13% last year from £4.14bn to £4.66bn. The fourth quarter increase in 1999 showed a similar rise of 12%, moving from £1.10bn in 1999 to £1.22bn last year.

Public non-housing orders rose 14% last year from £29bn to £33bn. Orders were 8% higher than in the same quarter of 1999, up from £648m to £702m. It was a different story with private housing, where orders fell by 3% from £4.58bn in 1999, to £4.47bn last year.

Private housing orders fell 19%, from £1.2bn to £964m, from the fourth quarter of 1999 to the fourth quarter of last year. Public housing and housing association orders were 9% lower last year than in 1999. Orders dropped from £842m to £770m last year.