Building sites’ output increased more than thought

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OUTPUT across Britain’s building sites increased more than previously thought between April and June as UK government schemes lifted the housing market.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said construction output grew 1.4 per cent compared with the first three months of the year – up from an initial estimate of 0.9 per cent – although it was still down 0.5 per cent on the second quarter of 2012.

Economists said there was a slight chance the better-than-expected performance could see gross domestic product growth for the second quarter revised up from the current estimate of 0.6 per cent, but pointed out that construction accounts for less than 7 per cent of the economy.

Private sector housebuilding rose 8.2 per cent on the second quarter of 2012, boosted by the state’s Help to Buy and Funding for Lending stimulus schemes. Work on new social housing soared 9.8 per cent on a year ago.