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Statistical bulletin: New Orders in the Construction Industry, Q3 2012 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 07 December 2012 Download PDF

Headline figures in Constant (2005) Prices, Seasonally Adjusted

  • The estimated total volume of all new construction orders in the third quarter of 2012 increased by 5.4% compared with the second quarter of 2012. However, the level of orders in the third quarter is still the third lowest on record. The total volume of all new construction orders in the third quarter of 2012 was estimated to be 6.7% lower than the third quarter of 2011.
  • Compared with the second quarter of 2012 there was an increase in the estimated volume of infrastructure orders in the third quarter of 31.4% (with current price orders for railways increasing by 79.1%). Infrastructure orders were estimated to be 43.8% higher in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the same period one year earlier. This sector provides most of the upwards movement in the level of new orders in the third quarter of 2012.
  • The estimated volume of private commercial orders in the third quarter of 2012 was 6.7% lower than the second quarter and 35.1% lower than the same quarter one year earlier.

Introduction

This bulletin shows new orders in the construction industry for the third quarter of 2012. Figures are in constant (2005) prices and are seasonally adjusted. The publication focuses on the latest quarterly figures and includes revisions to earlier periods in line with our revisions 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 works are started. This series cannot be used to directly predict future output in the construction sector, though it gives an indication of trends in the construction and allied trades industry.

We are constantly aiming to improve this bulletin and our commentary/discussion around the range of tables shown. We would welcome feedback on areas of greatest interest; please get in touch with us via email at construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 01633 456344.

Orders for New Construction

Figure 1: Total Construction New Orders (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

Construction new orders
Source: Construction: Contracts & New Orders - Office for National Statistics

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Year-on-year comparisons

The estimated total level of new orders for Q3 2012 decreased by 6.7% compared with Q3 2011.

Table A: Orders for New Construction (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

Great Britain

                 £ million
    Public housing Private housing Infra-structure Public Non-housing Private industrial Private comm-ercial All new work
2009   3,030 5,529 10,909 14,161 2,555 13,286 49,470
2010   3,312 8,591 8,723 13,274 2,047 14,149 50,097
2011 (R) 2,496 8,972 7,390 8,591 1,927 13,211 42,586
                 
2009 Q1  536 1,161 2,122 2,644 511 3,320 10,294
  Q2  674 1,280 2,915 3,824 706 3,282 12,682
  Q3 982 1,344 3,219 4,117 608 3,005 13,276
  Q4  838 1,744 2,653 3,575 730 3,679 13,219
2010 Q1 956 1,912 2,742 3,692 488 3,588 13,376
  Q2 812 1,759 2,135 3,471 579 3,650 12,407
  Q3 597 2,603 1,579 2,649 501 3,629 11,558
  Q4 948 2,317 2,268 3,462 478 3,282 12,756
2011 Q1 827 2,346 1,543 2,918 496 3,333 11,463
  Q2 (R) 602 2,132 1,362 1,955 492 3,243 9,786
  Q3 (R) 570 2,221 1,712 2,069 466 3,931 10,969
  Q4 (R) 496 2,274 2,773 1,649 473 2,703 10,368
2012 Q1 (R) 529 2,032 2,411 1,662 699 3,370 10,703
  Q2 (R) 566 2,129 1,874 1,892 518 2,734 9,713
  Q3 644 2,095 2,461 1,896 590 2,552 10,239

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. R = Revised since 2012 Q2 publication released on 7 September 2012

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New housing

The estimated volume of orders for private new housing in the third quarter of 2012 fell by 1.6% compared with the second quarter of 2012 and decreased by 5.7% compared with the same period one year earlier.

The estimated volume of public new housing orders in the third quarter of 2012 increased by 13.7% compared with the previous quarter and by 13.0% compared with the same period one year earlier. Although there has been an upward trend in this sector since Q2 2011, this sector has not recovered to the levels seen throughout most of 2009 and 2010.

Figure 2: New Housing (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

New Housing
Source: Construction: Contracts & New Orders - Office for National Statistics

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New public and private infrastructure

The estimated volume of Infrastructure new orders saw the biggest third quarter growth of any sector, increasing by 31.4% compared with the second quarter of 2012. This sector also showed the biggest year-on-year growth of any sector, increasing by 43.8% in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the same period one year earlier. As the infrastructure sector has been around 20% of total new orders for the last two quarters, movements in this sector contribute significantly to movements in total orders.

Figure 3: New Public and Private Infrastructure (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

New public and private infrastructure
Source: Construction: Contracts & New Orders - Office for National Statistics

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New public non-housing excluding infrastructure

The estimated volume of public non-housing (excluding infrastructure) in the third quarter of 2012 was relatively flat compared with the second quarter, increasing by only 0.3%.  New orders in this sector fell by 8.4% in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the same period one year earlier.

Figure 4: New Public Non-Housing Excluding Infrastructure (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

New public non-housing excluding infrastructure
Source: Construction: Contracts & New Orders - Office for National Statistics

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New private non-housing excluding infrastructure

The estimated volume of private commercial orders in the third quarter of 2012 decreased by 6.7% compared with the previous quarter and by 35.1% compared with the same period one year earlier. It is the lowest level of orders this sector has seen since the third quarter of 1979.

Private industrial orders in the third quarter of 2012 increased by 13.8% (from a relatively low base) compared with the second quarter and by 26.7% when compared with the same period one year earlier. As private industrial is a much smaller sector than private commercial (6% and 25% of total orders respectively) the fall in the private commercial sector outweighs the growth in the private industrial sector.

Figure 5: New Private Non-Housing Excluding Infrastructure (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

New private non-housing excluding infrastructure
Source: Construction: Contracts & New Orders - Office for National Statistics

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Revisions

In general, revisions will follow the standard revisions policy for new orders as explained in background note 2 and as shown in the table below:

Table B: Source of Revisions

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

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Table C: Revisions to New Orders (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

Quarter on previous quarter growth rates

      All new work  published in this release All new work estimates previously published   New work revisions
2011 Q2 -14.6 -14.2 -0.4
2011 Q3 12.1 12.2 -0.1
2011 Q4 -5.5 -7.1 1.6
2012 Q1 3.2 4.6 -1.3
2012 Q2 -9.2 -8.5 -0.8

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Background notes

  1. Special Events Policy

    ONS has produced an ONS Policy on Special Events.

  2. 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 of 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 (115.6 Kb Pdf) is available.

    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.

  3. 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).

  4. Deflation and seasonal adjustment

    The headline data are given in constant 2005 prices, seasonally adjusted. Deflators adjust the value series to take out the effect of price changes to give the volume series. Deflation of output is carried out sectorally and a range of relevant tender price and output price indices are used.

    Seasonal adjustment aids interpretation by removing annually recurring fluctuations, for example, due to climate, hours of daylight, holidays or other regular seasonal patterns. Unadjusted data are also available.

  5. User Engagement

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

    Copies of the survey questionnaire are also available on the ONS website.

  6. Further information

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

  7. Following ONS

    Follow ONS on Twitter (@statisticsons) and Facebook (statisticsons).

    View the latest podcasts on YouTube (ONSstats).

  8. Publication policy

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the press office. Also available is the Pre-Release Access List (87.9 Kb Pdf) of those given pre-publication access to the contents of this release.

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

    As a valued user of our statistics, we would welcome your feedback on this release. In particular, the content, format and structure. Please send feedback to the following postal or e-mail address:

    Construction and RSI Statistics, Room 1.227, Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8XG

    E-mail: construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence visit The National Archives or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London, TW9 4DU, or email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk. © Crown copyright 2011.

  9. Contact Details

    For further information please contact Kate Davies

    Tel: +44 (0)1633 456344

    Email: construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk

  10. 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

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Kate Davies +44 (0)1633 456344 Office for National Statistics construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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