UK construction output falls at slower rate in October

Construction has been the main drag on the UK economy Figures for each of the previous 12 months were revised

Output in the UK construction industry fell in October, down 5.1% from the same month last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Compared with the previous month, construction output rose 8.3%.

Construction is a component of gross domestic product (GDP), which measures the value of everything produced in the economy.

This figure is the first contributor to the eagerly-awaited fourth quarter GDP, which will be released next month.

The year-on-year construction output figure has fallen for 14 of the past 15 months, although October's fall was the smallest decline since February.

Output had dropped 13.2% in September, compared with September 2011.

Figures for each of the 12 previous months were revised by the ONS, although it said the revisions had had a "negligible" effect on GDP figures.

The month-on-month growth mirrors the result of the Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index for October, which was released last month and suggested fractional growth in the sector.

At the time, Markit economist Tim Moore said: "The bigger picture remains bleak."

The Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted that the UK economy will contract slightly in the whole of 2012, which would mean a negative reading for GDP for the last three months of the year.

The construction sector reading has a relatively small weighting in the GDP figures.

It is outweighed by the service sector, the October figures for which are due to be released on Friday 21 December.

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