Double-dip not as deep as feared

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The double-dip recession may not be as deep as originally feared after figures yesterday showed a less severe decline in construction sector output than previously estimated.

Construction output between April and June fell by 3.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, compared to a previous estimate of a 5.2 per cent decline.

While the decline still shows a struggling construction sector, with new infrastructure projects weighing most heavily on the industry, analysts said the figures could lead to an upward revision in total economic growth for the period.

Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter, the first estimate from the ONS said, but this could be revised up to a decline of 0.5 per cent.

Within the figures, the ONS said the volume of all new work fell by 4.6 per cent and repair and maintenance fell by 2.7 per cent quarter on quarter. The largest falls in new work were seen in public housing, infrastructure and other public non-housing.