U.K. Fourth-Quarter Construction Rose 0.2%, Led by Homebuilding

U.K. construction performed better than previously estimated in the fourth quarter, led by a surge in homebuilding.

Construction increased 0.2 percent from the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics said in London today. That compares with a 0.3 percent decline published in gross domestic product figures on Jan. 28. The revision has no impact on the GDP data to one decimal place, the ONS said.

New housing surged 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months and was up 19.8 percent compared with a year earlier, the biggest gain since the final three months of 2010. Infrastructure expanded 1.3 percent on the quarter. For the full year, total construction rose 1.3 percent, led by a 10.4 percent increase in homebuilding.

Construction, which accounts for 6.3 percent of the economy, is being boosted by increasing property demand amid low borrowing costs and government incentives for buyers. According to a Feb. 4 report from Markit Economics, the industry expanded at the fastest pace since 2007 last month as house building grew the most since 2003.

In December, construction rose 2 percent from November and advanced 6.3 percent versus the same month in 2012. New homebuilding recorded a 4.9 percent increase on the month and 21.2 percent on the year.

The statistics office said the monthly level of new housing output is at the highest since the series began in 2010. The quarterly output level is at the highest since the first three months of 2008.

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