This bulletin includes commentary on the dataset in addition to relevant graphs and tables. Accompanying background notes provide information on coverage, quality reporting, revisions and publication policy.
The information in this release relates to contracts for new construction work awarded to main contractors by clients in both the public and private sectors. Also included is speculative work, undertaken on the initiative of the firm, where no contract or order is awarded. The value of this work is recorded in the period when foundations work is started. This series cannot be used to directly predict future output in the construction sector, although it can provide an indication of trends in the construction and allied trades industry.
The second estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) saw no revision to the 0.3% growth in Q1 2013 reported in the preliminary estimate, following a contraction of 0.3% in Q4 2012. New orders in construction acted conversely, falling by 10.0% in Q1 2013 after growth in Q4 2012. The number of new orders for infrastructure declined by 49.8%, the largest fall in this component since Q4 1987.
Since Q1 2008 GDP has fallen by 2.6%, whereas new orders in construction have fallen by 33.9% over the same period. Public sector & housing associations is the only component to have experienced growth in these five years (11.1%) whilst private commercial other new work has fallen by 55.2%.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the bad weather in certain periods and subdued underlying demand contributed to the weak performance for the construction industry in the short term, while the long term trends also show a decline in the industry.
|Most recent quarter on a year earlier||Most recent quarter on the previous quarter||Most recent level|
|1. All New Work||Percentage change||Percentage change||£million|
|All New Work||-0.2||-10.0||10,793|
|Total New Housing||29.5||0.2||3,319|
|Total Other New Work||-9.4||-13.9||7,474|
|1.1 New Housing||Percentage change||Percentage change||£million|
|All New Housing||29.5||0.2||3,319|
|Public & Housing Associations||39.7||-0.3||729|
|1.2 Other New Work||Percentage change||Percentage change||£million|
|All Other New Work||-9.4||-13.9||7,474|
|Private - Industrial||-19.3||11.5||564|
|Private - Commercial||-6.6||3.3||3,110|
Special Events Policy
ONS has produced an ONS Policy on Special Events.
Changes to Construction Statistics
Statistical bulletins for new orders are produced quarterly. Publication dates in 2013 have been placed on the forward release calendar.
An article describing the improvements made to New Orders and Output in the construction industry was published in ONS’s Economic and Labour Market Review in March 2010. See ‘ Development of construction statistics (135.4 Kb Pdf) ’.
An explanation of the changes introduced in 2010 and the impact this has had on the published series is available (115.6 Kb Pdf) .
Standard revisions to the new orders series include late responses from respondents, revisions to the price indices used to deflate the current prices to constant (2005) prices and due to seasonal adjustment
Relevance to users
The statistical bulletin brings together information on orders for new construction in Great Britain. It draws on data compiled from the Quarterly Survey of Contracts and New Orders, with businesses selected from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). The construction industry, which contributes to the overall estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) by approximately 6.8%, covers Sections 41, 42 and 43 of the Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (excluding section 41.1 (property developers).
Releases on construction output and employment prior to the transfer to ONS can be found on the Department of Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS) website.
The user engagement section of the ONS website contains results of the survey held in April 2011 regarding users' satisfaction and use of the new orders and construction output surveys.
Interpreting the data
When making comparisons it is recommended that users focus on constant price, seasonally adjusted estimates as these show underlying movements rather than seasonal movements.
Construction estimates are subject to revision because of:
late responses to the New Orders Survey
revisions to seasonal adjustment factors which are re-estimated every quarter
Definitions and explanations
Definitions found within the main statistical bulletin are listed here:
Current price (CP)
Current prices are the actual or estimated recorded monetary value over a defined period. They show the value for each item expressed in terms of the prices of that period.
Constant price (KP)
A constant price measure is a series of economic data from successive years put in real terms by computing the production volume for each year in the prices of a reference year. The resultant time-series of production figures has the effects of price changes removed (that is, monetary inflation or deflation). In other words, from the raw data a series is obtained which reflects only production volume. See also deflation below.
Seasonally adjusted (SA)
Seasonal adjustment aids interpretation by removing effects associated with the time of the year or the arrangement of the calendar, which could obscure movements of interest.
It is common for the value of a group of financial transactions to be measured in several time periods. The values measured will include both the change in the volume sold and the effect of the change of prices over that year. Deflation is the process whereby the effect of price change is removed from a set of values. The current reference year is 2005.
Institutional sectors are defined in the System of National Accounts (SNA) glossary as:
Units that are grouped together to form institutional sectors on the basis of their principal functions, behaviour, and objectives.
The resident institutional units that make up the total domestic economy are grouped into five mutually exclusive sectors:
non-profit institutions serving households
In the case of non-financial and financial sectors these can be further broken down into public sector, those units either controlled by the state or funded from the public purse and include general government, local authorities, housing associations and nationalised industries and private sector, those units controlled by private individuals or groups and not by the public sector.
Gross domestic product (GDP)
Gross domestic product (GDP) is an integral part of the UK national accounts and provides a measure of the total economic activity in a nation.
GDP is often referred to as one of the main 'summary indicators' of economic activity and references to 'growth in the economy' are quoting the change in GDP during the latest quarter.
Construction estimates are a component of GDP from the output or production approach (GDP(O)) which measures the sum of the value added created through the production of goods and services within the economy (our production or output as an economy). This approach provides the first estimate of GDP and can be used to show how much different industries (for example, agriculture) contribute within the economy.
All buildings that are constructed for residential use. Within the public sector this classification includes construction items such as local authority housing schemes, hostels (except youth hostels), married quarters for the services and police; old peoples' homes; orphanages and children’s remand homes; and the provision within housing sites of roads and services for gases, water, electricity, sewage and drainage.
Private sector housing includes all privately owned buildings for residential use, such as houses, flats and maisonettes, bungalows, cottages, vicarages and the provision of services to new developments.
Infrastructure is the generic term for the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. These construction items include buildings, roads, power supplies, etc.
Other new work
Other new work excludes the housing and infrastructure sectors. This classification includes construction items such as factories, warehouses, schools and offices etc.
This publication includes data revisions from Quarter 4 2011. In addition to data revisions, a refinement to the seasonal pattern has caused slight revisions to the seasonally adjusted time series from quarter 4 of 2011.
One indication of the reliability of the key indicators can be obtained by monitoring the size of revisions. The tables below record the size and pattern of revisions which have occurred over the last five quarters. 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’.
|Source of revisions||Revision periods|
|New survey data||New quarter + revised previous quarter|
|Revised deflators from BIS*||New quarter + revised previous 2 quarters|
|Seasonal factors||New quarter + revised previous 5 quarters|
|All New Work published in this release (%)||All New Work estimates previously published (%)||All New Work revisions (%)|
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office. Also available is a list of the names of those given pre-publication access to the contents of this bulletin.
The New Orders in the Construction Industry statistical bulletin and time series datasets are available to download free from the Office for National Statistics website at 9.30 am on the day of publication.
ONS allows a list of agreed officials to have access to data 24 hours before publication, which is available on the Construction release page.
The New Orders in the Construction Industry statistical bulletin conforms to the standards set out in the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice.
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 information below.
ONS are currently performing a consultation on the
Publication of New Orders in the Construction Industry Data (158 Kb Word document)
which closes on 14 June 2013. If you would like to comment on the consultation please follow the above link to the consultation document.
Tel Media Relations Office +44 (0)845 6041858
Emergency on-call +44 (0)7867 906553
Name Stuart Deneen
Tel +44 (0)1633 456344
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
|Stuart Deneen||+44 (0)1633 456344||Office for National Statisticsemail@example.com|