The Office for National Statistics said the output of the sector fell by 0.1% in August compared to the previous month in what an economist said made for disappointing reading at first glance.
Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, noted the ONS said output had surged by 2.8% compared with its initial estimate of 2.2%.
However, Mr Archer noted: "The underlying performance remained healthy with construction output up by 2.4% in the three months to August compared to the three months to May. It was also up by 4.0% year-on-year in August itself, which was the best annual growth rate since December 2011."
Following encouraging results from the latest purchasing managers survey, Mr Archer said the sector may have helped the UK economy expand in the third quarter at a faster rate than the 0.7% achieved in the three months to June.
He noted private housebuilding led the way with output up by 6.1% month-on-month and 18.1% year-on-year in August.
Steve McGuckin, UK managing director of the construction and project management consultancy, Turner & Townsend, said increased private sector activity compensated for a 3.2% fall in public sector output. He said: "Private industrial and private housing output were both up strongly in August, helping the industry as a whole keep honours even."
However, with some public construction programmes winding down and investment likely to be squeezed "at least until after the next election", Mr McGuckin said private sector players would have to take up the slack.