Construction output in Great Britain: October 2021

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

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10 December 2021

This release is a headline-only bulletin as we review the content we publish. We will revert back to a fuller release for the next publication on 14 January 2022. We welcome any feedback at

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Release date:
10 December 2021

Next release:
14 January 2022

1. Main points

  • Construction output fell 1.8% in volume terms in October 2021, this is the largest monthly decline since April 2020 when output fell by 41.7%; new work fell (2.8%) from September to October 2021 while repair and maintenance remained unchanged (0.0%).

  • Like recent months, anecdotal evidence in October 2021 from businesses continues to suggest that product shortages caused by supply chain issues leading to subsequent price rises in raw materials such as steel, concrete, timber and glass, were an important reason for the decline.

  • At the sector level, the main contributors to the decline in monthly output in October 2021 were infrastructure and private new housing, which decreased 7.1% and 4.4% respectively; these decreases were partially offset by increases in private industrial and public other new work of 8.8% and 7.0% respectively.

  • The level of construction output in October 2021 was 2.8% (£400 million) below the February 2020, pre-coronavirus level; new work was 6.2% (£592 million) below the February 2020 level, while repair and maintenance work was 3.9% (£193 million) above the February 2020 level.

  • The extent of recovery to date, since the falls at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, has been mixed at a sector level, illustrated with infrastructure performing strongly (36.7% or £688 million) while private commercial was still some way below (26.9% or £670 million) its February 2020 level in October 2021.

  • In line with the monthly fall, construction output fell by 1.2% in the three months to October 2021; this was because of a 1.5% fall in repair and maintenance (mainly because of a 3.5% fall in non-housing repair and maintenance) and a fall of 1.0% in new work (with new housing (both public and private), public other new work, and private commercial new work all falling).

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2. Construction in Great Britain data

Output in the construction industry
Dataset | Released 10 December 2021
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 11 November 2021
Quarterly non-seasonally adjusted sub-national and sub-sector data at current prices, Great Britain.

Construction output price indices
Dataset | Released 11 November 2021
Monthly construction Output Price Indices (OPIs) by type of construction work, UK.

New orders in the construction industry
Dataset | Released 11 November 2021
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 19 October 2021
The construction industry in Great Britain, including value of output and type of work, new orders by sector, number of firms and total employment.

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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 is available in:

Sub-national and sub-sector output

Data on new orders supplied by Barbour ABI are used to model the breakdown of the overall output figures for Great Britain into the lower level and regional data seen in Tables 1 and 2 of Construction output: sub-national and sub-sector.

Revisions to construction output

In this release no revisions have been made to construction output data prior to October 2021.

Consultation on the Code of Practice for Statistics – proposed change to 9.30am release practice 

On behalf of the UK Statistics Authority, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is conducting a consultation on the Code of Practice for Statistics, proposing changes to the 9.30am release practice.

Please send comments by 21 December 2021 to:

Accessibility of construction output datasets

We have reviewed new accessibility of datasets legislation and have updated the following datasets in this release:

Our intention is to produce all datasets on this basis in future releases but if anyone has any feedback on the new layout please feel free to email us at

Blue Book 2021

In Blue Book 2021, a new framework was introduced to improve how we produce volume estimates of gross domestic product (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 the September quarterly national accounts and October monthly GDP estimates for the first time.

As a result, volume estimates in the monthly GDP and construction outputs releases will differ for the period 1997 to 2019 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, however, from January 2020 onwards on a growth basis.

Articles on the impact of double deflation and Blue Book changes provide information and indicative effects of this change to industry-level GVA volume.

Economic statistics governance after EU exit

Following the UK's exit from the EU, new governance arrangements are being put in place that will support the adoption and implementation of high-quality standards for UK economic statistics. These governance arrangements will promote international comparability and add to the credibility and independence of the UK's statistical system.

At the centre of this new governance framework will be the new National Statistician's Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics (NSCASE). NSCASE will support the UK by ensuring its processes for influencing and adopting international statistical standards are world leading. The advice NSCASE provides to the National Statistician will span the full range of domains in economic statistics, including the National Accounts, fiscal statistics, prices, trade and the balance of payments and labour market statistics.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

John Allcoat
Telephone: +44 1633 456344