Gloomy figures for building sector
The volume of all new work in the construction sector fell by 6.9%, while repair and maintenance declined by 0.4% on the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, separate figures showed that firms are passing on a bigger than expected proportion of past increases in their costs to customers. Factory-gate prices rose by 0.7% month on month in April and have now risen by 2.3% in the first four months of 2012.
However, Samuel Tombs, of Capital Economics, said further increases in output prices were less likely as input prices fell by 1.5% month on month. He added: "If oil prices hold steady at their current level, then input prices should fall by a similar amount in May too."
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