Recent GDP figures published by ONS show that the UK economy grew by 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter, and was up 0.6 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Construction fared much worse, declining by 2.5 percent quarter-on-quarter and 5.9 percent year-on-year.

Commenting on these figures, Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said: “The GDP figures released today show the growth for the UK economy. Despite this result, construction fell the most of all the major sectors, marking the lowest output since 1999. Illustrating the importance of the sector, had construction output merely been flat quarter-on-quarter, GDP growth would have increased to 0.5 percent.

“Subdued private sector investment, owing to a lack of confidence and certainty in the economy, was a large factor in this fall. Our principal concern going forward remains the Government’s slow pace of delivery on its policies, hindering real activity on the ground.

“Government announced a £4.69bn capital investment ‘boost’ in Autumn Statement 2011 and a further £5.5bn in December. If the Government ensured that these funds for infrastructure and other building programmes were actually invested, it would add an additional 0.8 percent to GDP. With this, the construction industry could then support a sustained recovery for the UK.”