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Fortunes improve for construction industry

Output in the construction industry appears to be stabilising, according to a new study.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics indicate that the amount of new work rose by one per cent in the second quarter of this year compared with the first period of 2009.

The total volume of construction output this year fell by 0.5 per cent compared with the first quarter - only a small drop following a large fall of eight per cent in the first period.

Increases in overall new work were driven by an eight per cent rise in new infrastructure output and a 12 per cent hike in the output of the public non-housing sector compared with the first quarter.

Last week, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Market Purchasing Managers' Index showed that the construction industry contracted at its slowest rate for 18 months in August.

While an index posting below the 50 neutral mark shows contraction, August's headline figure of 47.7 was up slightly from July's posting of 47.