LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - British construction output was 7.0 percent lower in February than a year ago but 5.5 percent higher than in January, according to non-seasonally adjusted data that provides a glimmer of hope that activity in the sector may be recovering.
The Office for National Statistics said nearly all sectors recorded increases during the month with the exception of 'private commercial other new work' which showed a fall of 0.5 percent.
Despite making up less than 7 percent of Britain's economy, weak construction output was the main drag on growth during the first half of last year, helping push the country into recession.
Surveys have pointed to weakness in the sector. The Markit/CIPS construction index shows the sector contracted for a third consecutive month in March.
Construction output is highly responsive to the economic cycle and has fallen by 16.5 percent when comparing the last quarter of 2012 with the first quarter of 2008, the ONS said.
(Reporting by Christina Fincher) Keywords: BRITAIN CONSTRUCTION/
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