Total construction output was an unprecedented 16% lower in the first quarter of this year than the same time last year

The construction output figures from the Office of National Statistics covering the first quarter of 2009 highlight the true nature of the construction recession, or should we say depression, with considerable destocking leading to sharp falls in output. Total output in construction during the first quarter of 2009 fell an unprecedented 16% compared to the same quarter a year earlier, the sharpest fall on record and is in line with forecasts.

Private housing fell 32% in the first quarter compared to a year ago and although recent news from Halifax, Nationwide and the RICS has suggested that there are now "green shoots", it is going to be a while till this feeds through into actual output, especially with orders for the first quarter of 2009 50% lower than a year earlier.

This article continues at Noble Francis' blog