To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has regarding the state of the construction industry in the first nine months of 1987.
Output and new order figures for the first three quarters of 1987 indicate a healthy trend of strong growth, spearheaded by the private industrial and commercial sectors. For the third quarter of 1987, output figures of £6,321 million, 9 per cent. up on the same period in 1986, were the highest for 10 years. Total new orders, in the third quarter of 1987, stood at £5,574 million, 47 per cent. higher than the same quarter in 1986. Evidence of skills training and material shortages indicates that the industry is still adjusting to the higher levels of demand.