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The construction industry grew by 1.5% last year according to official output data from ONS. After a dip in activity during the third quarter, construction output partially recovered during the closing months of 2016, rising by 0.3% and securing the overall growth for the year. The private new housing sector remains an important driver for industry growth. Sector output rose 1.4% during the three months to December against the preceding three months and was 9.9% up on a year earlier. New social housing output also improved, being 1.7% up on the previous three months and 6.6% ahead of a year ago. In contrast public housing repair maintenance and improvement (RM&I) output was down 10.0% during the final quarter of 2016 on a year earlier. Infrastructure output edged 0.4% higher during the quarter against the preceding three months, but was still 7.1% down on year ago. Overall infrastructure sector output fell 8.2% last year Industrial sector activity weakened further during the final quarter of 2016, falling by 2.8% against the preceding three months to stand 9.7% down on a year ago. Public non-residential new work shrunk by 1.7% during the three months to December, but was 1.2% up on a year ago In contrast commercial sector output remained firm, edging 0.3% higher against the preceding three months to 5.8% up on a year ago. Construction Output September to December 2016

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