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GDP figures show need to build out of recession

The UK economy shrank in the last three months of 2012 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

While the economy contracted by 0.3%, construction managed to buck the overall downward trend with marginal growth of 0.3%.

The data will fuel criticism that the Government is not doing enough to kickstart growth and adopt a Plan B for recovery, based on tax cuts and bringing forward more infrastructure investment.

It also comes after the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg admitted the coalition Government had cut capital spending too deeply when it came to power.

His admission that the Government helped to drive the economy into the doldrums by not investing in enough building underlines the arguments of the Get Britain Building Campaign, which has argued the case for greater investment to create jobs and stimulate economic recovery.

Mike Leonard, CEO of the Modern Masonry Alliance said: “The latest figures show reports of our recovery are greatly exaggerated. The Olympic factor was always going to be short lived.”Just like the other major recessions we need to build our way out of recession. We are more fortunate than many other countries as we have a massive housing shortfall, which means we can provide decent housing and drive jobs and growth.

He added: “The intervention has to be clear and decisive. It needs to cover the whole of the UK and must put local manufactures and smaller builders at the heart of the fast delivery of quality homes for all tenures.

“Local Authorities need to play a pivotal role in ensuring the delivery of an additional 25,000 public rented homes by January 2015. Banks must be persuaded to provide loans to builders and purchasers and Government has a key role in ensuring the banks are confident to invest in the construction sector.

“We are ready and waiting and can deliver jobs and growth in a faster and more sustained way than any other sector.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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