An extra day at work failed to help builders in May as construction output sank again, official figures show.
The 6.3 per cent slide came despite a bank holiday being moved to June for the Diamond Jubilee.
Analysts said the industry – which accounts for just under 7 per cent of UK output – is likely to to drag on the economy between April and June, helping condemn the country to a third successive quarter of recession. Steve McGuckin, managing director of Turner & Townsend, the consultants, said: "What began as a dip has become a dive."Reuse content