Figures for construction new orders for the third quarter of 2012,released by ONS this month, were seven per cent lower than the same quarter of 2011 and five per cent lower over the first three quarters of 2012, when compared to the same period the year before.

Although Q3 has seen some improvement against the second quarter in 2012, the overall level of construction new orders remains very poor, indicating continuing challenging conditions for construction in 2013.

Commenting on the ONS figures, Milja Keijonen, senior economist at the Construction Products Association, said: ‘There are some brighter areas, as both infrastructure and private industrial construction new orders are showing double digit increases.”