A decline in construction output contributed to an overall contraction in the UK economy during the final months of 2010, new data shows.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures from the Office for National Stastics (ONS), released today (January 25th), reveal that construction output fell by 3.3 per cent between October and December last year, compared with a rise of 3.9 per cent in the previous quarter.

Overall, GDP decreased by 0.5 per cent between October and December, compared with an increase of 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter.

While the ONS said bad weather in December "significantly affected" the GDP estimate, the decline is also due to "decreases in two of the component aggregate series, namely services and construction".

This view was backed by the Construction Products Association, whose chief executive, Michael Ankers, said: "After two quarters of relatively strong growth in the middle of 2010, these latest figures show that the economic recovery has stalled even before the full impact of the public sector spending cuts is felt."

"Although the poor weather in the last few weeks of the year undoubtedly had an impact on the construction industry, as it did in 2009, it is clear that the recovery in the construction industry has already petered out and that private sector growth is not coming through strongly enough."ADNFCR-3337-ID-800363546-ADNFCR