New statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show growing demand for bricks. 

   Old bricks - cement

In the second quarter of 2016, brick deliveries were 10.4% higher than in the first quarter, while in June 2016 they were 7.4% higher than the previous month.  

These latest figures correlate with ONS housebuilding statistics that show 41,222 new homes were built in the UK in the second quarter of 2016, an increase on the same period in 2015 and the highest number of homes built in any three-month period since Q4 2007. 

However, the latest Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index shows activity in the construction industry as a whole fell again in July. 

The surveys are based on replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives and they are seen as one of the earliest indicators of the economy's performance. 

The latest result suggests output in the construction industry shrank at the fastest pace since June 2009.

"Anecdotal evidence suggested that economic uncertainty following the EU referendum was the main factor weighing on business activity in July, especially in the commercial building sector," the report said.

However, it added that there were also reports that suggested demand patterns had been more
resilient than expected.

The Mineral Products Association, which represents companies that make products such as asphalt and cement, says its figures point to an uptick in construction industry activity. 

Sales in ready-mix cement, for example, which is delivered direct to a construction site, are up 3.3% in the second quarter compared with the first, and up 6.5% compared with last year. 

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