New orders fall 23% druing the first quarter

New construction orders crashed at their fastest rate for 24 years, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

New orders recorded their biggest fall since 1987 during the first quarter of the year, with a 23% drop on the previous three months and an 18% decline on the same period last year.

Infrastructure orders fared even worse, recording a 48% drop over the quarter.

The ONS figures will raise further questions about the accuracy of the government’s data, with other surveys showing a more positive picture.

Alasdair Reisner director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “The ONS figures show that the orders needed to drive growth are drying up, putting the industry at real risk of further decline.”