New construction orders have dropped by 14% during the second quarter of 2010, compared to the first quarter, according to official Government statistics.
The figures are down 9% on the same period a year ago.
The statistics are in sharp contrast to the 6.6% increase in construction output during the second quarter, and will fuel fears that a return to recession is looming.
Housing took the biggest hit, with private orders down 24% and public by 23% on the previous quarter.
Infrastructure orders fell by 22%, while private commercial dropped 7%.