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Statistical bulletin: Output in the Construction Industry, July 2015 and New Orders Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015

Released: 11 September 2015 Download PDF

Main points

  • Output is defined as the amount charged by construction companies to customers for value of work (produced during the reporting period) excluding VAT and payments to sub-contractors.
  • In July 2015, output in the construction industry decreased by 1.0% compared with June 2015, after increasing by 0.9% in June. All new work decreased by 1.5% while all repair and maintenance showed no growth.
  • Within all new work, there were falls in all work types except infrastructure and private industrial. Public new housing, private new housing, public other new work and private commercial work decreased by 5.8%, 2.0%, 4.5% and 2.9% respectively.
  • Within the repair and maintenance (R&M) category, the growth in non-housing R&M of 1.4% was offset by housing R&M which decreased by 1.4%.
  • Compared with July 2014, output in the construction industry decreased by 0.7%. This is the first year-on-year fall in construction output since May 2013, when it fell by 2.8%.
  • The second estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 published on 28 August 2015 included an estimate of construction which showed an increase in output of 0.2% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015. This estimate has not been revised in this release.
  • New orders for the construction industry in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 were estimated to have decreased by 0.4% compared with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015 and increased by 1.9% compared with Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2014. There were decreases in private commercial (-12.0%), public other new work (-10.7%) and private new housing (-3.3%) in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015.
  • There are no revisions to previous data in this release.

About this release

On 11 December 2014 the UK Statistics Authority announced its decision to suspend the designation of Construction Price and Cost Indices (CPCI) as National Statistics due to concerns about the quality of these deflators. As a result the UK Statistics Authority announced its decision to suspend the designation of Output and New Orders as National Statistics in respect of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

ONS took responsibility for the publication of the Construction Price and Cost indices from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) on 1 April 2015. Since this point we have worked towards creating an interim solution to measure output prices and replace the statistical models that had been used in the production of chained volume measures (CVMs) for output in the construction industry since Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2014 and to provide an ongoing source of data from Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2014 onwards. This interim solution was included in the data published in June 2015 for all periods from January 2014 onwards.

Construction output estimates are a short term indicator of construction output by the private sector and public corporations within Great Britain and are produced from a monthly survey of 8,000 businesses in Great Britain. The estimates are produced and published at current prices (including inflationary price effects) and at chained volume estimates (with inflationary effects removed) both seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted.

Chained volume measures are also described as volume. Construction output is used in the compilation of the output approach to measuring GDP.

Detailed estimates along with a longer run of time series data are available to download in the Output in the Construction Industry, July 2015 reference tables. In these tables, users will find chained volume estimates back to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 1997 and monthly estimates back to January 2010. Current price non-seasonally adjusted data are available back to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 1955. More information on these statistics can be found in the “definitions and explanations” section in the background notes.

New orders in the construction industry estimates are a short-term indicator of construction contracts for new construction work awarded to main contractors by clients in both the public and private sectors within the UK. The estimates are produced and published both seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted at current prices (including inflationary price effects) and at constant prices (with inflationary effects removed). Since Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2013, these data have been supplied by Barbour ABI. Further details can be found in the background notes section of this bulletin.

Detailed estimates on new orders are available to download in the New Orders in the Construction Industry, Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 reference tables. In these tables, users will find volume estimates back to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 1964, current price data are also available for this time period. Value data is available for a more granular level of type of work back to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 1985 along with regional data for the main types of work.

Output in the Construction Industry – July 2015

All work

In July 2015 all work:

  • decreased by 1.0% compared with June 2015

  • decreased by 0.7% compared with July 2014

Figure 1 shows the seasonally adjusted chained volume measures of all construction work. It shows that since the monthly series began, the construction industry has not performed in a consistent manner. The time series can be split into 4 periods:

  • January 2010 to December 2011

  • January 2012 to December 2012

  • January 2013 to July 2014

  • August 2014 to July 2015

In the first period, output increased to begin with and then remained around the same level until entering the second period, where it fell to a level in December 2012 similar to where it began in January 2010. Output then began to increase and did so throughout the third period, suggesting that the underlying pattern within the construction industry was one of growth. Since August 2014 however, output in the construction industry has remained around the same level, suggesting that this period of growth has been replaced by a flatter trend.

Figure 1: All work – monthly time series chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted (SA) Index (2011 = 100)

Great Britain, July 2015

Figure 1: All work – monthly time series chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted (SA) Index (2011 = 100)
Source: Construction: Output & Employment - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 2 shows the 2 main components of all work. The chart shows that the fall of 1.0% into July 2015 was caused by all new work, which fell by 1.5% compared with June 2015 while repair and maintenance was unchanged. The path of all new work follows a similar path to that of all construction work as described above, whereas the path of repair and maintenance while volatile, does not express the same underlying patterns.

Figure 2: All new work and repair and maintenance – monthly time series chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted (SA) Index (2011 = 100)

Great Britain, July 2015

Figure 2: All new work and repair and maintenance – monthly time series chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted (SA) Index (2011 = 100)
Source: Construction: Output & Employment - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 3 shows the components that make up all new work. The chart shows that there were falls in new housing and other new work in July 2015, while there was an increase in infrastructure. It shows that the decline in other new work provided the main source of the fall in all new work between January 2012 and December 2012, with housing being the main source of the underlying growth between January 2013 and August 2014. The more constant picture seen in all new work over the past year comes from other new work and new housing while infrastructure shows an increase.

Figure 3: Components of all new work - monthly time series, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, £ million

Great Britain, July 2015

Figure 3: Components of all new work - monthly time series, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, £ million
Source: Construction: Output & Employment - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 4 looks at the components of total housing, it shows that private new housing accounts for the overall trend in total housing. Public housing, while experiencing some growth between January 2013 and August 2014 is now returning to a more normal level for this type of work.

Figure 4: Components of total housing - monthly time series, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, £ million

Great Britain, July 2015

Figure 4: Components of total housing - monthly time series, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, £ million
Source: Construction: Output & Employment - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 5 looks at the main components of repair and maintenance. In July 2015, all repair and maintenance showed no growth compared with June 2015, with the increase in non-housing repair and maintenance of 1.4% being offset by the decrease of 1.4% in housing repair and maintenance. The underlying pattern in non-housing repair and maintenance is more volatile than housing repair and maintenance.

Figure 5: Components of repair and maintenance, monthly time series, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted (SA), £ million

Great Britain, July 2015

Figure 5: Components of repair and maintenance, monthly time series, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted (SA), £ million
Source: Construction: Output & Employment - Office for National Statistics

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Table 1: Component comparison to previous levels, chained volume measure, seasonally adjusted

Great Britain

  Current volume £million Lowest volume £million Date Highest volume £million Date Percentage change from lowest volume (%) Percentage change from highest volume (%)
New housing              
Public 408 313 2013 Jan 510 2014 Dec 30.4 -20.0
Private  1,890 1,081 2010 Jan 1,976 2015 Apr 74.8 -4.4
Total 2,298 1,395 2010 Jan 2,438 2015 Apr 64.7 -5.7
Other new work
Infrastructure 1,326 1,021 2010 Dec 1,402 2011 Dec 29.9 -5.4
Excluding infrastructure
Public 751 747 2014 May 1,248 2010 Nov 0.5 -39.8
Private industrial 345 238 2013 Sept 373 2010 Aug 45.0 -7.5
Private commercial 1,870 1,625 2012 Sept 2,104 2011 Dec 15.1 -11.1
All new work 6,590 5,524 2013 Mar 6,712 2014 Dec 19.3 -1.8

Table notes:

  1. Monthly time series for these components begins in January 2010.

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Summary of growth rates for all work types

Table 2 provides a summary of growth rates across the different types of construction work in July 2015. Some main points from this table are as follows:

  • all public work types showed a decrease in July 2015 when compared with June 2015 and also when compared with July 2014

  • all work types except infrastructure, private industrial and non-housing repair and maintenance saw a fall month-on-month - all new work accounted for the fall in all work

  • the month-on-month decrease in all new work was due to a fall in all sub-sectors except infrastructure and private industrial work; public new housing reported the largest decrease - however, the weight of this industry in all new work is small in comparison to other work types

  • the year-on-year decrease in all work was due to all repair and maintenance - all work types within repair and maintenance reported decreases

Table 2: Construction output summary tables, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted

Percentage change (%)
  Most recent 3 months on a year earlier Most recent 3 months on 3 months earlier Most recent month on the same month a year ago Most recent month on the previous month Most recent level (£m)
Total all work 1.3 -0.3 -0.7 -1.0 10,418
Total all new work 3.7 0.4 1.0 -1.5 6,590
Total repair and maintenance -2.6 -1.6 -3.4 0.0 3,827
All new work  
Total all new work 3.7 0.4 1.0 -1.5 6,590
New housing          
  Public corporations -12.4 -6.8 -15.6 -5.8 408
  Private sector 6.6 0.3 0.8 -2.0 1,890
Other new work          
  Infrastructure 17.9 3.2 17.3 2.7 1,326
Excl infrastructure          
  Public corporations 0.0 0.6 -3.4 -4.5 751
Private sector           
  Private sector - industrial 0.9 0.1 4.9 6.6 345
  Private sector - commercial -1.1 0.5 -3.2 -2.9 1,870
Repair and maintenance  
Total repair and maintenance -2.6 -1.6 -3.4 0.0 3,827
Housing          
  Public corporations -0.9 -0.2 -2.2 -2.6 594
  Private sector 2.0 0.9 -0.4 -0.8 1,332
  Non-housing -6.0 -3.7 -5.8 1.4 1,901

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Contributions to growth

Figure 6 shows the contribution of each sector to output growth in the construction industry between July 2015 and June 2015.

Figure 6: Contributions to month-on-month volume growth from the main construction sectors (July 2015 compared with June 2015)

Great Britain, July 2015

Figure 6: Contributions to month-on-month volume growth from the main construction sectors (July 2015 compared with June 2015)
Source: Construction: Output & Employment - Office for National Statistics

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In July 2015, 4 of the main construction sectors saw a decrease in output growth. The largest contribution came from total housing.

The quality of the estimate of output in the construction industry

Output in the construction industry estimates are produced from the monthly business survey on the second Friday of the month, 2 months after the reporting month. Revised results, for previously published periods, are published in line with the national accounts revisions policy. More information about the data content for this release can be found in the background notes.

Revisions are an inevitable consequence of the trade-off between timeliness and accuracy. The response rate in July 2015 was 69.8% of questionnaires, accounting for 75.0% of registered turnover in the construction industry. Therefore the estimate is subject to revisions as more data become available.

The monthly output in the construction industry time series now spans 67 months, however, users should note that 60 months is the minimum time span recommended for seasonal adjustment. While the seasonal pattern is generally established after 60 months in a monthly time series, there is still potential for increased revisions until the seasonal pattern has matured.

All estimates, by definition, are subject to statistical uncertainty and for many well-established statistics we measure and publish the sampling error associated with the estimate, using this as an indicator of accuracy. For construction output we publish sample and non-sample errors in Table 11 of the main reference tables. It should be noted that we are continually working on methodological changes to improve the accuracy of the construction output estimates, progress on these can be found on the ONS continuous improvement page on our website.

Construction estimates in gross domestic product

Construction estimates are a main component of the output approach to measuring GDP along with the estimates of services, production and agriculture. To aid understanding, the short-term economic indicator releases that directly feed into GDP include an additional table of the GDP components. This table should show you the relationship between the individual components that comprise GDP output. The publication dates and the quarterly growths of the individual GDP components are shown below.

Each component of GDP has a weight within GDP based on its value in 2011. Construction has a weight of 64, which means that it is 64 parts of the 1,000 that make up total GDP.

To determine the effect each component has on GDP multiply the component growth by its weight in GDP.

An example using Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2014 data:
Construction growth  = 0.7
Weight in GDP  = 0.064 (64/1000)
Effect on GDP  = 0.7 * 0.064 = 0.0448 or 0.0 to 1 decimal place (dp).
Revisions to components and the effect on GDP can be calculated using the same process. As a general rule there are no revisions to GDP when the component revisions are:

Index of Production (IoP) = between 0.3 and -0.3
Construction = between 0.7 and -0.7
Index of Services (IoS) = 0.0 (all values above or below 0.0 effect GDP due to the high weight of IoS in GDP).

This is because:

IoP =    0.146*0.4 = 0.0584 or 0.1 to 1 dp 
Construction =  0.064*0.8 = 0.0512 or 0.1 to 1 dp
IoS =    0.784*0.1 = 0.0784 or 0.1 to 1 dp

Table 3 shows the latest monthly and revised quarterly output figures that fed into the GDP preliminary release for Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 published on 28 August 2015.

Table 3: GDP component tables, chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted

Great Britain

Percentage change (%)
Publication Weight in GDP (%) Publication date Latest periods Most recent period on a year earlier Most recent period on the previous period
GDP 100.0 28 Aug Q2 2015 2.6 0.7
      Q1 2015 2.8 0.4
           
Index of Production 14.6 9 Sept Q2 2015 1.4 0.7
      Q1 2015 1.0 0.2
           
Construction output 6.4 11 Sept Q2 2015 2.4 0.2
      Q1 2015 4.4 -0.2
           
Index of Services 78.4 28 Aug Q2 2015 4.4 0.7
      Q1 2015 5.4 0.8
           
Agriculture 0.6 28 Aug Q2 2015 0.2 -0.1
      Q1 2015 2.5 -2.3

Table notes:

  1. Quarter 1 is January to March and Quarter 2 April to June

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The second estimate of GDP published on 28 August 2015 contained an estimate for quarterly construction of an increase of 0.2%. This estimate has not been revised within this release.

New orders for construction – Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015

Figure 7: New Orders, quarterly time series, constant prices, seasonally adjusted (SA) index (2005 = 100)

Great Britain, July 2015

Figure 7: New Orders, quarterly time series, constant prices, seasonally adjusted (SA) index (2005 = 100)
Source: Barbour ABI

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It is estimated that the seasonally adjusted volume of all new orders decreased by 0.4% between Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015, and Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015, to £12.4 billion. There were decreases in the volume of new orders for private new housing, public other new work and private commercial work.

The volume of new orders in total new housing decreased by 2.3% between Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 and Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015, with private new housing the main contributor, decreasing by 3.3%. This was offset by an increase in public new housing of 7.6%, however, the weight of public new housing is small at only 10% of total new housing.

The volume of new orders in infrastructure increased by 23.8% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 compared with Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2015, to a level of £3.1 billion. Comparing Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 with the same period a year ago, infrastructure increased by 83.8%. This is a particularly volatile series due to the range of products such as electricity, gas, road, rail etc included within this type of work, therefore movements of this magnitude are not unusual.

Michael Dall from Barbour ABI said: “Construction new orders dipped slightly overall in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter and this was primarily driven by a decline in new private housing orders and private commercial orders. A general slowdown in contract award activity in the housing sector can be attributed in part to the uncertainty surrounding the UK General Election where developers adopted a 'wait and see' approach for new schemes. The decline in Private Commercial was largely attributable to a fall in order values in offices though it should be noted that the values are still above the long-term average. Growth was mainly concentrated in infrastructure with the Government investment in road schemes as well as continuing investment in renewable energy projects. Overall, while new order value dipped this quarter it is still higher than the corresponding quarter in 2014 and the breadth of work supports a positive outlook for the construction industry over the near term."

Table 4: Volume of New Orders summary tables, quarterly time series, constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted

Great Britain

  Most recent quarter on a year earlier (% change) Most recent quarter on the previous quarter (% change) Most recent level (£m)
1. All New Work        
All New Work 1.9 -0.4   12,441
    All New Housing -4.2 -2.4   3,523
    All Other Work 4.5 0.4   8,918
1.1  New Housing      
All New Housing -4.2 -2.4   3,523
    Public -41.2 7.8   341
    Private 2.7 -3.3   3,181
1.2  Other New Work      
All Other Work 4.5 0.4   8,918
    Infrastructure 83.8 23.8   3,075
    Excl Infrastructure        
        Public -34.7 -10.7   1,496
        Private - Industrial 22.4 5.2   1,154
        Private - Commercial -12.0 -12.0   3,194
 

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Users should note that there is a time lag between how long an order turns into output (if at all) and therefore an assumption that improved new orders data will result in an improved output picture is a difficult assumption to make.

Further, users should note that there may be some discontinuity in the data around Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2013 where the Barbour ABI data were used for the first time to compile these statistics.

Economic context

Construction output contracted by 1.0% in July 2015 compared with an increase of 0.9% in the previous month. Construction output fell by 0.7% in the year to July 2015, the first contraction in the annual rate of growth since May 2013. The weakening in construction output was driven by the housing components, reversing the trend of housing as the main driver of growth since Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2013. The fall in construction output is in contrast to GDP which grew by 2.6% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 compared with the same quarter a year ago.

On a monthly basis, output from all components related to housing contracted, both public and private for both new work and repair and maintenance. New work for housing decreased by 2.7% depressed by private housing, which contracted by 2.0% in July. Repair and maintenance for housing fell by 1.4% in July 2015. In contrast, the Bank of England’s Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions for August 2015 reported that steady growth in private house building had continued and noted that activity was stronger in the new build market than in the secondary market. Although activity in the housing market was higher than at the start of the year, transactions were hindered by a shortage of properties for sale and subdued past house price inflation that had limited equity for some homeowners. The ONS House Price Index (HPI) shows that UK house prices increased by 5.7% in the year to June 2015.

However, infrastructure and private industrial new work supported construction growth in July. This was reflected by the Agents who reported that commercial activity had continued to strengthen, particularly warehouse construction as well as new office building.

On an annual basis, the slowdown in construction output was driven by repair and maintenance whereas new work grew moderately. Repair and maintenance for non-housing was the weakest sub-category and contracted by 5.8%. All new work grew by 1.0%, offsetting part of the decline in repair and maintenance. The main driver of the increase in all new work was infrastructure, which was 17.3% higher than a year earlier. The Agents also noted that the number of infrastructure projects was increasing. There was downward pressure on all new work from public components, housing and other new work, as well as private commercial new work which contracted by 3.2%.

The external indicators show that construction output growth edged up slightly and this is demonstrated by the demand for credit. Although this month’s construction data reflect that housing output contracted, there was an increase in mortgage demand. Lending data from the Bank of England indicated that mortgage approvals were 5.3% higher in July than the same month a year ago and the Bank of England’s Credit Conditions Survey for Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015 reported that demand for secured lending for house purchases increased significantly in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015, having weakened in the previous 3 quarters. Commercial activity supported construction growth and the Credit Conditions Survey shows a robust increase in demand for credit by small businesses and large private non-financial corporations in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015.

In Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015, new orders decreased by 0.4% due to private commercial (excluding infrastructure) which contracted by 12.0% and public commercial (excluding infrastructure) which contracted by 10.7%. Private housing also put downward pressure on new orders whereas infrastructure, which grew by 23.8% in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2015, provided support.

International perspective

Output in the construction industry follows the Eurostat Short Term Statistics (STS) regulation for production in construction. Before any comparisons are made with the Euro area or EU28, it is worth noting that the UK is the only member state to follow the A method for compiling production in construction statistics.

The latest release of production in construction showed that construction output in the euro area (EA19) decreased by 1.9% in June 2015 and by 1.1% in the EU28 compared with May 2015. The GB estimate for June 2015 showed that construction output increased 0.9%. It should be noted that an accurate comparison cannot be made as Eurostat data are calculated on a 2010 = 100 basis, while GB data are calculated on a 2011 = 100 basis.

Outside of the EU, the US Census Bureau release Value of construction put in place showed provisional estimates of construction output increased by 0.7% in July 2015 compared with June 2015 and increased by 13.7% compared with July 2014.

International comparisons

International construction comparisons are compiled by Eurostat. The estimates produced in this bulletin are included in these comparisons. Further information can be found on the Eurostat web page.

Background notes

  1. Future developments

    Estimates for August 2015 published on 9 October 2015 will incorporate the re-referencing of the indices to 2012 = 100 to align with the National Accounts outputs. This change will result in changes to the level of construction output but growth rates should be maintained.

    We are creating new pdf data tables for new orders which will be available in the next new orders release published on 11 December 2015.

  2. Revision policy

    Construction output conforms to the standard national accounts revision policy, which can be found on our website. In line with this, the construction output release for July 2015 has no revisions for earlier periods.

    New orders data has a revision period back to Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2013 and is not covered by the national accounts revisions policy due to not directly feeding the national accounts.

    Figures for the most recent months are provisional and subject to revision in light of (a) late responses to the monthly business survey MBS and (b) revisions to seasonal adjustment factors which are re-estimated every period.

  3. Revisions

    One indication of the reliability of the main indicators can be obtained by monitoring the size of revisions. Analysis of the previously published quarterly seasonally adjusted chained volume measure series has shown that revisions to construction data are small. Generally these quarterly revisions are less than 1 percentage point when compared with the final revised period five quarters after initial publication. This indicates that the published estimates are a reliable snapshot of the output in the industry at the date of publication.

    The size and pattern of revisions for both output and new orders data which have occurred in the open period can be found in the new revision triangles on the construction web page. Please note that these indicators only report summary measures for revisions. The revised data may be subject to sampling or other sources of error. Details about this revisions material can be found in the document “Revisions information in ONS first release”.

    It should be noted that due to seasonal adjustment taking place on a short span of data points used to interpret the seasonal effects, there is potential for increased revisions until the seasonal pattern is established within the time series. The seasonal pattern is generally established after 60 months in a monthly time series.

    Please note that a monthly seasonally adjusted chained volume series is not available pre-2010. This is due to monthly data not being available for this period. These data are a requirement for creating previous year’s prices from which chain linked volume measures are created.

  4. Use of the data

    Output in the construction industry estimates are widely used both internally and externally and have been identified by legal requirement and user engagement surveys.

    The main users of data from the output of the construction industry dataset are:

    • United Kingdom national accounts

    • Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in order to comply with statutory legislation on short-term business statistics (STS) - short-term business statistics provide information on the economic development of four major domains: industry, construction, retail trade and other services

    • industry analysts requiring estimates of the construction industry output of Great Britain

    • trade associations making UK and international comparisons and to forecast trends in the construction industry

    • other government departments including; the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), HM Treasury (HMT), Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR)

    As well as being a main indicator of the performance of construction companies, the results of the survey also contribute to the estimate of the gross domestic product of the UK, contributing approximately 6.4% of GDP.

    More information on the uses made of short-term economic statistics is available.

  5. Methods

    Our monthly construction output survey measures output from the construction industry in Great Britain. It samples 8,000 businesses, with all businesses employing over 100 people or with an annual turnover of more than £60 million receiving a questionnaire by post every month.

    Estimates are based on output data collected through the monthly construction output survey. Response rates at the time of publication are included for the current month, and the 3 months prior. The response rates for those historical periods are updated to reflect the current level of response, incorporating data from late returns. There are 2 response rates included, with 1 percentage for the amount of turnover returned, and the other percentage for the amount of questionnaire forms.

    Table 5: Overall response rates (%)

    Great Britain
    Year Period Turnover Questionnaire
    2015 July 75.0 69.8
    June 89.2 77.4
    May 93.3 79.3
      April 93.8 80.8

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    Since the 1950s, new orders in construction data had been collected from a sample survey of businesses; originally monthly and then quarterly. There were some known quality issues with the survey data as:

    • the coverage of the survey was unknown

    • new orders allocated to regions were not always accurately recorded.

    The new orders data are now supplied under contract by Barbour ABI. Barbour ABI provide us with improved coverage and regional splits of new orders in construction data.

  6. Quality

    The latest quality and methodology report for the output of the construction industry estimates and quality and methodology report for new orders in the construction industry estimates can be found on our website.

  7. Relevant links

    Modelling construction statistics deflators (84.5 Kb Pdf)

    Impact of quarterly employment question on monthly survey response  (163.7 Kb Pdf)

    Government Statistical Service (GSS) uncertainty guidance

    Annual construction publication construction Statistics, No. 16, 2015 Edition

    Analysis of the construction industry

    UK Statistics Authority assessment

    Disclosure control policy (121.5 Kb Word document)

    The circular flow of income

    Types of Construction Work (75.5 Kb Pdf)

  8. Further information

    Releases on construction output and employment prior to the transfer to ONS can be found on the BIS website.

  9. User Engagement

    The user engagement section of our website contains results of the survey held in April 2011 regarding users' satisfaction and use of the new orders and construction output surveys.

    We published a summary of initial responses (110 Kb Pdf) to the Short-term Indicators National Accounts Survey on 9 February 2015.

  10. General information

    Interpreting the data

    When making comparisons it is recommended that users focus on chained volume measures or constant price (volume), seasonally adjusted estimates as these show underlying movements rather than seasonal movements.

    Construction output estimates are subject to revision because of:

    • late responses to the construction output survey.

    • revisions to seasonally adjusted factors which are re-estimated every quarter.

    • annual updating of the inter-departmental business register (IDBR) that forms the basis of the sampling for the construction output survey; this occurs in April and can have an effect on the results published in May

    Definitions and explanations

    Definitions of terminology (39 Kb Word document) found within the main statistical bulletin are available.

  11. Code of Practice for Official Statistics

    National Statistics are produced to high professional standards which are set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs and are produced free from any political interference.

  12. Accessing data

    The Output in the Construction Industry statistical bulletin and relevant time series datasets are available to download free from the Office for National Statistics website at 9.30 am on the day of publication.

    We allow a list of agreed officials to have access to data 24 hours before publication, which is available on the Output in the Construction Industry: Pre-Release page.

  13. Further information and user feedback

    As a user of our statistics, we would welcome feedback on this release, in particular on the content, format and structure. For further information about this release, or to send feedback on our publications, please contact us using the following information.

    Contacts:
    Media contact:
    Tel:  Media Relations Office +44 (0)845 6041858
    Emergency on-call +44 (0)7867 906553
    Email:   press.office@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    Statistical contact:
    Name:  Kate Davies
    Tel:  +44 (0)1633 456344
    Email:  construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    Contact us:
    Tel:  +44 (0)845 601 3034
    Email:  info@ons.gov.uk
    Website: ONS Website
    Twitter

  14. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Kate Davies +44 (0)1633 456344 Expenditure Household and Economic Indicators construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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