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ONS data highlights construction growth

The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have highlighted a considerable improvement in new orders for the UK construction sector during the second quarter of the year.Covering April to June 2013, the ONS' Q2 data revealed a 20 per cent upturn among developers - marking a three-year high for the sector as it looks to move out of the shadow of recession and downturn that has fogged the market in recent years from Q1 this year.Moreover, the market was shown to have risen by 32.8 per cent annually from Q2 2012.In total, £12.9 billion of new orders were recorded across the sector, with the majority of this increase coming about through a 75 per cent upturn in orders for the infrastructure sector.At the same time, new housing orders breached the £4 billion mark in the quarterly statistics for the first time since the end of 2007 - highlighting the considerable investment being made in tackling the UK's ongoing residential property crisis.Responding to the publication, Simon Rawlinson, head of strategic research and insight at EC Harris, commented: "Growth at this rate has not been seen since 2009 when special measures were put in place to stimulate the economy."Other industry indicators such as the Markit Purchase Managers' Index have been accelerating during the summer, suggesting that third-quarter volumes could be even higher."He added a word of warning, noting the upward momentum of the market comes at a time when the assessment method being used by the ONS has been updated, meaning making direct comparisons to previous data published by the body on this subject can be difficult."It is also important to remember that 2013 activity levels are still below those seen in 2012, and the industry will recover from a very low base, Mr Rawlinson concluded.However, with construction output rising by 2.2 per cent in June from the preceding month, this is indeed long overdue welcome news for the UK construction industry and investors and the economy in general. 

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