ONS figures show 12.8% rise in the third quarter

New construction orders bounced back from a historic low in the third quarter, up 12.8% on the previous three months.

The total volume of new orders rose to £10.9bn, compared with £9.6bn in the previous quarter. Last quarter the ONS revealed that construction new orders were at the lowest level for 31 years.

Despite the rise in the third quarter, new orders are still 5.5% down on the same period a year ago when they were worth £11.5bn.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said:  ‘Although new orders have improved since the previous quarter, this is still the lowest figure for Q3 since 1980.

“As expected the fall is sharpest in public sector construction – education, health, and social housing - and although there is some pick up in orders for private sector commercial work, this is heavily focused in London and the south east and is not strong enough to compensate for the sharp decline in orders for public sector work.

“This week’s Autumn Statement brought the prospect of increased investment in infrastructure but the government’s figures show that this will not have any significant impact until 2013 at the earliest.

“As a result, and in the light of today’s new orders figures, the industry needs to brace itself for an even sharper fall in output in 2012 than that already anticipated.’