In constant (2005) prices, non-seasonally adjusted, the total volume of construction output in October 2012 was estimated to have been 5.1% lower than in October 2011.
Comparing the three months from August to October 2012 with the same three months one year earlier (constant (2005) prices non-seasonally adjusted) we see that:
The volume of construction output decreased by 9.7%. New work decreased by 11.8% and repair and maintenance by 5.6%.
Over the same period:
The volume of infrastructure work decreased by 1.1%, although this sector has shown recent signs of recovery growing 19.8% in the latest three months compared with the previous three months.
New public non-housing decreased by 18.7%.
Public housing decreased by 20.7%, the largest decline of any sector (although this sector is relatively small, contributing approximately 4% to total construction output).
The only sector to show growth, when comparing the three months from August to October 2012 with the same three months one year earlier, was public housing repair and maintenance which increased by 4.7%.
Comparing the constant (2005) price, non-seasonally adjusted estimates between October and September 2012 (table 3 of the spreadsheet published with this release), we see that the volume of construction output has increased by 8.3% (with all sectors except public housing and public non-housing repair and maintenance showing a positive growth).
This compares with falls in the same two months in 2010 and 2011 of 0.2% and 1.0% respectively. However, care should be taken when comparing month-on-month estimates as these may be influenced by seasonal factors and, as yet, ONS does not have enough data to seasonally adjust the monthly series (see section 2 of the background notes).
Users should also be aware that in line with our usual revisions policy later responses to the survey, as well as updated deflators and seasonal adjustment factors, have led to revisions (to September 2012 published estimates) for the last six quarters.
The largest revision in constant (2005) price, seasonally adjusted terms was in quarter one 2012 where the estimate has been revised down from a decrease of 6.1% to a decrease of 6.4%. The impact on quarter three GDP, and indeed on any of the last six quarters, from this release of construction estimates is, therefore, negligible.
Tables giving historic and other more detailed breakdowns of the data are available in the reference tables (1.08 Mb Excel sheet) published with this summary.
Source: Office for National Statistics
Changes to Construction Statistics
In June 2009 ONS announced major changes to the arrangements for producing construction statistics and indicated that the changes would take effect from the beginning of 2010. From January 2010, a new Monthly Business Survey replaced the quarterly output surveys for construction, and a quarterly new orders survey replaced the previous monthly new orders survey.
Copies of the survey questionnaire are also available on the ONS website.
Deflation and seasonal adjustment
'Value' of construction output is also known as 'current price' or 'nominal price' construction output. 'Volume' of construction output is also known as 'constant price' construction output. A volume series aims to measure the level of construction output, adjusting for price inflation, allowing comparisons of activity to be made between periods. 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.
Seasonally adjusted monthly estimates will not be available until enough monthly data are available for this to be done reliably. After 3 years of estimates are available, ONS will review if it is feasible to introduce a seasonally adjusted series.
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 Kate Davies:
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456344
Office for National Statistics,
Date of next Output in the Construction Industry publication: 11 January 2013.
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The user engagement section of the ONS website contains copies of the survey questionnaire.
A list of the names of those given 24 hour pre release access to the information contained within this summary is available on the Output in the Construction Industry: Pre-Release Access List (49.4 Kb Pdf) .
More details can be found in the Quality and Methodology Information paper on the ONS website.
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