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ORDERS FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION: MARCH 1997

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Despite a slight increase in the total volume of construction new ...
Despite a slight increase in the total volume of construction new

orders in March, orders in the first quarter of 1997 were 5% lower

than in the previous quarter. This was due to large falls in the

private housing and infrastructure sectors. However, these were

partially offset by strong growth in the private commercial, private

industrial and public housing sectors.

The total volume of new orders received by contractors for

construction work in Great Britain in the first quarter of 1997 was

five per cent lower than in the fourth quarter of 1996 but six per

cent higher than in the first quarter of 1996. These provisional

figures reflect the volume of orders at constant (1990) prices

adjusted to exclude normal seasonal variations.

New orders in the private housing sector in the first quarter of 1997

were 19 per cent lower compared with the previous quarter but 19 per

cent higher than in the corresponding period a year ago. Public

housing and housing association orders in the latest

quarter were 27 per cent higher than in the previous quarter but two

per cent lower than in the same period a year earlier.

Infrastructure orders in the latest quarter were 35 per cent lower

compared with the previous quarter and 24 per cent lower compared

with the corresponding period a year earlier.

Public non-housing orders (excluding infrastructure) in the latest

quarter were two per cent higher compared with the previous quarter

but 14 per cent lower than in the corresponding period a year ago.

Private industrial orders in the latest quarter were ten per cent

higher than in the previous quarter and 39 per cent higher compared

with the same period a year ago. Private commercial orders in the

latest quarter were 16 per cent higher compared with the previous

quarter and 16 per cent higher than in the corresponding period a

year ago.

In current prices the total value of new orders in March was£2071

million.

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