Productivity levels in the construction industry jumped overall in 2015, in spite of a slight dip at the end of the year, the latest official figures show.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, output in the final quarter of the year fell slightly by 0.4% compared to the period between July and September.

But this failed to hamper growth in the sector, as the figures show that total output rose by 3.4% in 2015, said to be a faster growth rate than the economy as a whole.

The industry was boosted by a 6.8% rise in all new work, as well as by a house-building surge that saw output grow at its fastest rate since the middle of 2014.

House-building increased by 4.1% during Q4, up from a fall of around 5% in the preceding three months.

It comes as the Government steps up its efforts to tackle the country’s housing crisis through schemes including the Help to Buy loan initiative.

Although forecasters had predicted a slightly smaller fall in output in the final three months of the year, they said that the findings did not affect growth dramatically.

In fact, there was a 1.5% rise in construction output in December compared to a 1% drop in November.

Of the sectors holding back growth, repair and maintenance was singled out as having the biggest impact.

There was a 1.4% fall in work in this sector in the final quarter of the year, though new work was seen to rise by 0.2%.

Commenting on the figures, Martin Bennett, of building consultancy firm the Vinden Partnership, said: “The drop in output in the fourth quarter is a slight disappointment but there is some encouraging news within these figures.

“The rise in new work throughout the entirety of 2015 in comparison with 2014 shows that the construction industry is heading in the right direction.

“House-building beginning to pick up pace is also extremely welcome news and something we want to see continue into the future.”