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Statistical bulletin: New Orders in the Construction Industry, Q4 2011 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 02 March 2012 Download PDF

Headline figures in constant 2005 prices, seasonally adjusted

  • The total volume of all new construction orders in the fourth quarter of 2011 fell slightly by 2.5 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2011.
  • The largest move in the fourth quarter was a growth of 41.6 per cent in infrastructure, whilst new public housing decreased by 26.6 per cent compared with the third quarter.
  • The total volume of all new construction orders in 2011 was 14.1 per cent lower than 2010, and is at its lowest level since 1980, with the largest decreases being in other public new work (34.7 per cent) and public new housing (28.3 per cent).

Introduction

This bulletin shows new orders in the construction industry for the fourth quarter of 2011.

This information 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 foundation 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 (construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk) or telephone (+44 (0)1633 456344). We hope to introduce changes within the Q1 2012 release scheduled for 01 June 2012.

Orders for new construction

Construction new orders total in constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted

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

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Orders for new construction (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

Great Britain

 
£ million
  Public housing Private housing Infrastructure Public Non- housing Private industrial Private commercial All new work
2009   3,030 5,529 10,909 14,161 2,555 13,286 49,470
2010 (R) 3,329 8,602 8,649 13,288 2,047 14,164 50,079
2011   2,388 9,132 7,171 8,679 1,944 13,683 42,997
                 
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 (R) 597 2,603 1,579 2,649 501 3,629 11,558
  Q4 (R) 964 2,329 2,195 3,476 478 3,297 12,738
2011 Q1 (R) 825 2,304 1,604 2,847 496 3,365 11,441
  Q2 (R) 586 2,149 1,282 1,974 492 3,235 9,719
  Q3 (R) 563 2,245 1,774 2,111 462 3,901 11,055
  Q4 413 2,435 2,511 1,747 494 3,182 10,782

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. R = Revised since 2011 Q3 publication released on 2nd December 2011

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New housing

The volume of new orders for private housing in the fourth quarter of 2011 grew by 8.5 per cent compared with the previous quarter and by 4.5 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. These are based on constant price seasonally adjusted estimates.

Public housing orders in the fourth quarter of 2011 fell by 26.6 per cent compared with the previous quarter and fell by 57.1 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.  The volume in the fourth quarter is the lowest since the second quarter of 2000.

New Housing in 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 volume of infrastructure orders in the fourth quarter of 2011 rose by 41.6 per cent compared with the previous quarter, particularly driven by large increases in rail and electricity.  The fourth quarter of 2011 rose by 14.4 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

New public and private infrastructure in 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 volume of public non-housing (excluding infrastructure) orders in the fourth quarter of 2011 fell by 17.2 per cent compared with the previous quarter, and is now the lowest volume since quarter 1 of 1997. The fourth quarter of 2011 fell by 49.7 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier. This change means that public non-housing is now the fourth largest sector for orders in quarter 4 2011, while in quarter 4 2010 it was the largest.

New public non-housing excluding infrastructure in 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 volume of private commercial orders in the fourth quarter of 2011 fell by 18.4 per cent compared with the previous quarter and fell by 3.5 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Private industrial orders in the fourth quarter of 2011 rose by 7.0 per cent compared with the previous quarter and rose by 3.4 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.

New private non-housing excluding infrastructure in constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted

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

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New construction orders for the whole of 2011

In 2011 there were £46,227 million of new orders in the construction industry (current prices).

In constant (2005) prices, the volume of new orders for 2011 as a whole was 14.1 per cent lower than in 2010. This level of volume for new orders was the lowest since 1980 and 39 per cent lower than its recent peak of 2006. Private housing was the only sector showing growth year on year, increasing by 6.2 per cent compared with 2010.

Large year on year decreases were recorded in public non-housing excluding infrastructure, which fell by 34.7 per cent, public housing, which fell by 28.3 per cent, and infrastructure, which fell by 17.1 per cent. Private industrial and private commercial orders also fell, by 5 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively. Orders for private industrial in 2011 were 71 per cent lower than the recent peak of 2006.

Annual New Orders in constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted

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

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Revisions

In general, revisions will follow the standard revisions policy for construction statistics shown in the table below

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

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Sources of revisions to the new orders series in Q4 2011 are as outlined in the table above and in note 1 of Background Notes.

Revisions to new orders (constant (2005) prices, seasonally adjusted)

Quarter on previous quarter growth rates

Figures in percentage points
    All new work published in this release All new work estimates previously published   New work revisions
2010 Q3 -6.8 -7.3 0.4
2010 Q4 10.2 12.8 -2.6
2011 Q1 -10.2 -11.9 1.7
2011 Q2 -15.1 -15.7 0.7
2011 Q3 13.7 12.8 1.0

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Background notes

  1. Changes to Construction Statistics

    Statistical bulletins for new orders are produced quarterly. Publication dates in 2011/2012 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 contributors, revisions to the price indices used to deflate the current prices to constant (2005) prices and due to seasonal adjustment.

    ONS launched a new website on 28 August 2011 which has improved the way users can access our statistics. However, many existing bookmarks and links no longer work and users will need to update them.

  2. 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 7.6 per cent, covers Sections 41, 42 and 43 of the Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (excluding section 41.1 (property developers).

  3. Accuracy

    Revisions to previous periods: figures for the recent periods are provisional and subject to revision, mainly in the light of revisions to deflators. Current price figures are revised back one quarter.

  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. Further information

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

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  7. Publication policy

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the press office. Also available is a list (29.7 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 feedback on this release. In particular, the content, format and structure. Please send feedback to the following postal or e-mail address:

    Construction, Capex and Stocks Statistics, Room 2301, Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8XG

    E-mail: construction.statistics@ons.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, LondonTW9 4DU, or email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk. © Crown copyright 2011.

  8. Contact Details

    For further information please contact Stephen Curtis

    Tel: +44 (0)1633 456344

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

  9. 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
Stephen Curtis +44 (0)1633 456344 Economic Surveys Division construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk
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