Stuart Deneen, Office for National Statistics
Business Indicators and Balance of Payments
Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 456344
Frequency of release: Monthly
Geographical coverage: GB
Geographical breakdown: Region
Survey name(s): Construction: Output & Employment
In the last two quarters construction output has shown steady growth, rising by 1.7% in Q3 2013 and 1.9% in Q2 after a prolonged period of predominantly negative growth which began in Q3 2011.
There were conflicting stories in the sub-sectors in Q3 2013 which saw new work show strong quarterly growth of 3.1%, the highest quarterly growth since Q2 2010, but a fall in repair and maintenance of 0.6%. The 1.7% growth in Q3 is the highest Q3 growth since 2003.
When comparing Q3 2013 with Q3 2012 construction output increased by 4.1% (see Figure 1) predominantly due to a 6.2% increase in new work. Within the new work category, private new housing increased by 15.6% and private commercial other new work by 12.5%, while infrastructure fell by 3.7%. In Q3 2013, these three sectors accounted for approximately 75% of all new work, with a combined volume of £13,100 million of the estimated £17,400 million output of new work in Q3.
Construction output shows quarterly year on year growth for two consecutive periods for the first time since Q2 2011 with the main contribution to this growth coming from the new housing work, which shows year on year growth of 14.1%. The article ‘Growth in new housing construction gains momentum’ provides more detail.
Comparing September 2013 with the same month 12 months ago, the output of construction increased by 5.8%. Over the same period new housing showed growth of 13.6%.
Construction output fell by 0.9% in September when compared with August 2013 with all sectors, excluding public new work and private commercial other new work estimated to have fallen month on month.
The Preliminary Estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) published on 25 October 2013 contained a forecast for quarterly construction output of 2.5%. This estimate has been revised within this release based on updated survey responses and is now estimated to be 1.7%, a downward revision of 0.8 percentage points. This downward revision has no effect on the preliminary estimate of GDP growth to 1 decimal place. Construction currently accounts for 6.3% of GDP.
These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.