UK construction activity shrank by 10% in a year

Construction has been the main drag on the UK economy
Image caption The fall in construction activity has been a significant drag on the UK economy

Activity in the UK construction sector was down 10.1% in the year to July, the Office for National Statistics said.

Taking the three months of May to July, output was also down by 10% on the same three months a year ago.

But the ONS said that it was important to bear in mind that May's activity was higher than usual because a bank holiday was moved to June.

In June there were two extra days' holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee leaving output unusually depressed.

The ONS said that it was worth noting that the volume of construction output increased by 2.2% between June and July 2012 when the country returned to normal working patterns.

The ONS said the Olympics and Paralympic Games did not have a strong effect on these figures as they started at the end of July, although the build-up to the events, for example in rising numbers of tourists, may affect other economic data.

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