Output in the Construction Industry, April 2014 and New Orders Q1 2014

The latest estimates of output in the construction industry for April 2014 snf for New Orders for Q1 2014 has been released by the ONS. Output is defined as the amount charged by construction companies to customers for value of work (produced during the reporting period) excluding VAT and payments to sub-contractors.

Construction output estimates are a short term indicator of construction output by the private sector and public corporations within Great Britain and are produced from a monthly survey of 8,000 businesses in Great Britain. The estimates are produced and published at current prices (including inflationary price effects) and at chained volume estimates (with inflationary effects removed) both seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted.

New orders in the construction industry estimates are a short term indicator of construction contracts for new construction work awarded to main contractors by clients in both the public and private sectors within the UK. The estimates are produced and published both seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted at current prices (including inflationary price effects) and at constant prices (with inflationary effects removed). Since quarter 2 2013 these data have been supplied by Barbour ABI.

Detailed estimates along with a longer run of time series data are available to download in the Output in the Construction Industry, April 2014 and New Orders Q1 2014 dataset.

The ‘Definitions and explanations’ section in the background notes of the bulletin includes additional information on items contained in this release along with further details on the newly published monthly seasonally adjusted series and the chained volume measures.

Construction statistics for Northern Ireland are available through the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Key Points

  • The statistical bulletin provides users with the latest estimates of output in the construction industry for April 2014 and for New Orders for Q1 2014. Output is defined as the amount charged by construction companies to customers for value of work (produced during the reporting period) excluding VAT and payments to sub-contractors.
  • The seasonally adjusted estimate of construction output in April 2014 rose by 1.2% (£113 million) when compared with March 2014. There was a slight rise of 0.9% (£55 million) in new work and a larger increase of 1.6% (£57 million) in repair and maintenance.
  • The year-on-year picture is also one of growth. Compared with April 2013, construction output increased by 4.6%, all new work increased by 4.9% due to strong increases in new housing and private industrial work. Repair and maintenance increased by 4.2% over the same period.
  • The second estimate of GDP for Q1 2014 published on 22 May 2014 included an estimate of construction growth of 0.6%. This has been revised up in this release to an increase of 1.5%, late survey data particularly for March 2014 is the cause of this revision.
  • This revision of 0.9% results in an increased contribution to GDP growth of 0.09 percentage points compared with the previously published contribution of 0.01percentage points, meaning that if all other components are unchanged GDP could potentially be revised by 0.1% percentage points.
  • Construction new orders in Q1 2014 were estimated to be 6.3% lower than Q4. There were falls in orders for public new housing (-45.7%), infrastructure (-16.5%), private industrial (-14.6%) and private commercial work (-1.9%). Public other new work and private housing new orders both increased by 6.8% and 2.8% respectively.
  • The fall in public housing was the largest fall since the series began in 1964. However, as the chart in the New Orders section of this bulletin shows the volume of new orders of public housing was not as low as in Q4 1990. A possible reason for the fall in public housing new orders is that investment in housing associations is coming from private investment rather than a public source.

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