ONS reports construction output contrary to industry surveys
Published: 16 May, 2016
ONS figures published on 13 May show that construction output in March fell by 3.6% month-on-month, and by 4.5% compared with one year earlier.
In addition, the data reports that construction output in Q1 as a whole was 1.1% lower than in Q4, and 1.9% lower than one year ago.
Professor Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association (CPA), said: "Contrary to today's report, all other surveys of activity across the entire construction industry supply chain, from the largest contractors to the smallest SMEs, have reported an increase in activity during the first quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter and the previous year, albeit at a slower rate than previously.
"It is disappointing to see that the ONS construction output data does not currently reflect this, but we anticipate that ONS data will be revised upward, as has happened previously. At this time last year, the ONS reported that output declined 1.1% in 2015 Q1 on a quarterly basis and declined by 0.3% on an annual basis. Following later data revisions, however, ONS reported that construction output increased 1.9% in 2015 Q1 compared with the previous quarter and rose 6.2% year-on-year.
"Significant revisions to ONS' construction output may occur due to late data returns, revisions to output price deflators and seasonal adjustment. In addition, the ONS has also stated in its release today that the timing of Easter means that March’s construction output data will be subject to larger than normal data revisions."