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Statistical bulletin: New Orders in the Construction Industry, Q4 2012 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 01 March 2013 Download PDF

Headline figures in Constant (2005) Prices, Seasonally Adjusted

  • The estimated total volume of all new construction orders in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by 3.4 per cent (£370 million) compared with the third quarter of 2012. The total volume of all new construction orders in the fourth quarter of 2012 was estimated to be 11.2 per cent higher (£1,100 million) than the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • The increase in new construction orders in the fourth quarter was not attributable to any single sector with five out of the six sectors showing a quarter on quarter increase. The private sector delivered the largest increases, with private commercial other new work increasing 9.7 per cent (£270 million) and private new housing increasing 10.3 per cent (£230 million). Of the six sectors, only infrastructure showed a fall in the quarter (15.4 per cent).
  • Previous quarter estimates are subject to revisions in line with national accounts revisions policy. 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 seasonal adjustment.
  • The statistical bulletin brings together information on orders for new construction in Great Britain drawing on data compiled from the Quarterly Survey of Contracts and New Orders. Construction new orders estimates should not be used as an indicator of output activity.

Introduction

This bulletin shows new orders in the construction industry for the fourth 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 can provide 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 Q4 2012 increased by 11.2 per cent compared with Q4 2011.

Table A: 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   3,312 8,591 8,723 13,274 2,047 14,149 50,097
2011 (R) 2,490 8,954 7,288 8,595 1,927 13,193 42,447
2012   2,436 8,861 9,337 7,432 2,602 11,967 42,636
                 
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 602 2,132 1,362 1,955 492 3,243 9,786
  Q3 (R) 583 2,246 1,765 2,087 466 3,968 11,115
  Q4 (R) 478 2,232 2,618 1,635 473 2,648 10,083
2012 Q1 (R) 532 2,031 2,445 1,654 699 3,391 10,752
  Q2 (R) 562 2,150 1,896 1,865 524 2,824 9,821
  Q3 (R) 642 2,226 2,706 1,872 658 2,743 10,847
  Q4 700 2,455 2,290 2,040 722 3,009 11,216

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. R= Revised since 2012 Q3 publication released on 7 December 2012

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New Housing

The estimated volume of orders for private new housing in the fourth quarter of 2012 rose by 10.3 per cent (£230 million) compared with the third quarter of 2012 and increased 10.0 per cent (£220 million) compared with the same period a year earlier. The third quarter estimates includes a positive revision of £260 million compared with provisional estimates published in quarter three.

The estimated volume of public new housing orders in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by 9.0 per cent (£60 million) compared with the previous quarter and by 46.5 per cent (£220 million) compared with the same period a year earlier.

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 only fall in the published sectors, falling by 15.4 per cent (£420 million) compared with quarter three.

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 fourth quarter of 2012 increased 9.0 per cent (£170 million) compared with the third quarter.  New orders in this sector rose by 24.8 per cent (£410 million) in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the same period a 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 industrial orders in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by 9.6 per cent (£60 million) compared with the previous quarter and by 52.7 per cent (£250 million) compared with the same period a year earlier.  It was the highest level of orders this sector has seen since the fourth quarter of 2009.

Private commercial orders in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by 9.7 per cent (£270 million) compared with the third quarter and by 13.6 per cent (£360 million) when compared with the same period a year earlier. Estimates of private commercial orders in quarter three have been revised up £310 million compared with the estimates published at quarter three 2012.

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

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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 Q3 13.6 12.1 1.5
2011 Q4 -9.3 -5.5 -3.8
2012 Q1 6.6 3.2 3.4
2012 Q2 -8.7 -9.2 0.6
2012 Q3 10.5 5.4 5.0

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’.

    An explanation of the changes introduced in 2010 and the impact this has had on the published series 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 (62 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 2013.

  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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