The Office of National Statistics has revealed that construction orders have fallen by £17bn since the begining of the recession.
Orders were £50.6bn in 2007 and fell to £ 33.6bn in 2009, with the largest drop coming from the commercial and private housing sectors. The value of orders in these sectors fell by 60%.
Private housing orders for the last three months of December rose by 24% to £1.5bn.
Total construction orders in the fourth quarter were £7.842bn, 4% up on 2008.