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ONS: Construction output shows steady growth

The UK's construction sector continues to show signs of steady growth, new figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal.According to the government's data for September and the third quarter of 2013, overall output in the third quarter was up by 1.7 per cent in comparison to the previous three-month period, which itself saw growth of 1.9 per cent.New work rose by 3.1 per cent in Q3, while repair and maintenance work was down by 0.6 per cent.When looking specifically at September, output was shown to have marginally fallen by 0.9 per cent, but this reduction is likely to be more of a blip than a sustained downturn, especially given the overall positive state of the economy at present.Steve McGuckin, UK managing director for global construction and project management consultancy Turner & Townsend, told Construction Enquirer: "Despite missing a stride in September, the construction sector is running, not walking, back to health."After two straight quarters of solid growth, the recovery now has some genuine momentum ... It has now returned to pre-crash levels not seen since the second quarter of 2008."Construction sector revenues currently account for around 6.3 per cent of the UK's total gross domestic product, making the industry one that is highly important for a sustained drive towards recovery and putting the hardships of recent years firmly in the past.The news follows the publication of the latest Markit/CIPS Construction purchasing managers' index (PMI), which itself highlighted increasing confidence in the outlook for the UK building industry, delivering a figure of 59.4 - up from 58.9 in the preceding month.Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit and author of the PMI report, commented: "The latest survey indicated that more than four times as many construction firms expect a rise in output over the year ahead as those that anticipate a fall." 

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