Construction output in Great Britain: January 2023

Short-term measures of output by construction industry in January 2023 and contracts awarded for new construction work in Great Britain.

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Release date:
10 March 2023

Next release:
13 April 2023

1. Main points

  • Monthly construction output is estimated to have decreased 1.7% in volume terms in January 2023; this is the weakest monthly growth since June 2022 (negative 2.0%) and the lowest monthly value in level terms (£14,841 million) since February 2022 (£14,719 million).

  • Anecdotal evidence continued the narrative around economic uncertainty leading to delays, cancellations, and less work being requested by customers; this has particularly contributed to an ongoing slowdown of work in the housing sector.

  • The decrease in monthly construction output came from a decrease in new work (4.0% fall), partially offset by an increase in repair and maintenance (2.0%) on the month. 

  • Further anecdotal evidence highlighted the mixed impact of heavy rainfall in the first two weeks of January, with outdoor work being affected negatively, but repair and maintenance work seeing an increase because of the weather.

  • At the sector level, five out of the nine sectors saw a fall in January 2023, with the main contributors to the monthly decrease seen in infrastructure new work and private new housing, which decreased 6.5% and 3.0%, respectively.

  • Alongside the monthly decrease, construction output saw a decrease of 0.7% in the three months to January 2023; this follows four periods of consecutive growth in the three-month-on-three-month series; the decrease came solely from a fall in new work (1.2% fall), as repair and maintenance saw an increase (0.3%).


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2. Construction in Great Britain data

Output in the construction industry
Dataset | Released 10 March 2023 Monthly construction output for Great Britain at current price and chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted by public and private sector.

Output in the construction industry: sub-national and sub-sector
Dataset | Released 10 February 2023
Quarterly non-seasonally adjusted sub-national and sub-sector data at current prices, Great Britain.

Construction output price indices
Dataset | Released 10 February 2023
Monthly construction Output Price Indices (OPIs) by type of construction work, UK.

New orders in the construction industry
Dataset | Released 10 February 2023
Quarterly new orders at current price and chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted by public and private sector. Quarterly non-seasonally adjusted type of work and regional data.

Construction statistics annual tables
Dataset | Released 18 November 2022
The construction industry in Great Britain, including value of output and type of work, new orders by sector, number of firms and total employment.

Output in the Construction Industry - Customise my data
Dataset | Released 10 March 2023
Customise My Data (CMD) is the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) new way of providing filterable, explorable data suitable to individual user needs.

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3. Glossary

Construction output estimates

Construction output estimates are monthly estimates of the amount of output chargeable to customers for building and civil engineering work done in the relevant period, excluding Value Added Tax (VAT) and payments to subcontractors.

Seasonally adjusted estimates

Seasonally adjusted estimates are derived by estimating and removing calendar effects (for example, leap years, such as 2020) and seasonal effects (for example, decreased activity at Christmas because of site shutdowns) from the non-seasonally adjusted estimates.

Value estimates

The value estimates reflect the total value of work that businesses have completed over a reference month.

Volume estimates

The volume estimates are calculated by taking the value estimates and adjusting to remove the impact of price changes.

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4. Measuring the data

Quality and methodology

More quality and methodology information (QMI) is available in our:

Reasons for revisions to construction output in this release

In line with the national accounts revision policy, there are no revisions to previously published data, and January 2023 is being produced for the first time.

For further information on the revisions profile, see our Output in the construction industry - revisions triangle (one-month growth) dataset and our Output in the construction industry - revisions triangle (three-month growth) dataset.

Sub-national and sub-sector construction output

Data on new orders supplied by Barbour ABI, as shown in our Quality assurance of administrative data used in construction statistics methodology, are used to model the breakdown of the overall output figures for Great Britain into the lower level and regional data, as shown in Tables 1 and 2 of our Construction output: sub-national and sub-sector dataset.

Bias adjustment

Since the move to monthly gross domestic product (GDP) estimates, an adjustment to address any bias in survey responses for construction output is applied to the early construction output monthly estimates. This is shown in our Improvements to construction statistics: Addressing the bias in early estimates of construction output , June 2018 article.

While the response rates for January 2023 have improved and are nearing comparable pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels of response, it is still below this level. As such, we have not applied a bias adjustment for January 2023.

Differences with monthly GDP construction estimates

In Blue Book 2021, a new framework was introduced in our Producing an alternative approach to GDP using experimental double deflation estimates articles. This improves how we produce volume estimates of GDP for balanced years as part of the supply use process. This framework included the implementation of double-deflated industry-level gross value added (GVA) for the first time. This improvement was reflected in our GDP quarterly national accounts, UK: April to June 2021 and GDP monthly estimate, UK: August 2021 for the first time.

As a result, volume estimates in the monthly GDP and construction outputs releases will differ for the period 1997 to 2020. This is because the construction publication measures the volume of construction work (output), while the GDP series measures GVA (that is, output minus intermediate consumption). Construction estimates will align from January 2021 onwards on a growth basis.

Information and indicative effects of this change to industry-level GVA volume can be found in our Impact of double deflation on industry chain volume measure annual estimate article and our Impact of Blue Book 2021 changes on quarterly volume estimates of gross domestic product by industry article.

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6. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), published 10 March 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Construction output in Great Britain: January 2023.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Iolo Tomlinson
Telephone: +44 1633 456344