Construction finds greater impetus

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Construction returned to growth in October as a rise in house building helped the sector expand by 2.2 per cent, reaching a near two-year high level of output.

Official figures also showed the sector had performed better than thought earlier in the year, with revisions large enough to add 0.1 per cent to overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth in each of the first and third quarters.

Meanwhile a slump in September was not as bad as had been feared – construction shrank by 0.5 per cent rather than 0.9 per cent.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed output for the sector in October reached £9.8bn, the highest level since December 2011.

New housing work increased by 5.8 per cent, with the market bolstered by Government initiatives such as Help to Buy.

Infrastructure was up 7.5 per cent but other public work fell 5.7 per cent and private industrial work showed a disappointing drop of 5.8 per cent, although new orders for planned projects in this sphere showed promise, up 31.8 per cent.

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