There was a steep quarter-on-quarter rise in private industrial new work and private commercial new work, which grew by 58% and 28%, respectively.
More worryingly, the two areas often view as prime drivers of economic growth and benefitting from Government stimulus measures did less well. There were decreases in infrastructure new work (14%) and private new housing (11%), compared to the last quarter of 2011. The figures will put more pressure on the government to take steps to bolster these areas.
Simon Rawlinson, Head of Strategic Research & Insight at EC Harris told Construction Enquirer: “Latest New Orders figures provide some respite to the beleaguered construction industry but we have not turned the corner. Construction should continue the growth path shown in recent monthly output data, and should return to growth in the 2nd quarter.
“However, volumes of new work will not be sufficient to make up lost ground during the year – forecasts for negative growth in 2012 are sadly well founded. “
Civil Engineering Contractors Association director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “The case for infrastructure investment as the form of capital investment that delivers the highest rate of return has never been stronger.