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The construction industry is defined in accordance with the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and includes general construction and demolition work, civil engineering, new construction work, and repair and maintenance.


Adjustments for Measured Term Contracts
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
Monthly updating percentages may be used as a contractual basis for reimbursement of increased costs for the contracts let on all PSA Schedules of Rate or other forms of maintenance contracts as well as assisting in updating estimates.
Annual Business Inquiry
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) is conducted in two parts: employment and financial information. This release deals with the financial inquiry which collects information for about two thirds of the UK economy, covering agriculture (part), hunting, forestry and fishing; production; construction; motor trades; wholesale; retail; catering and allied trades; property; service trades. The financial variables covered include turnover, purchases, employment costs, capital expenditure and stocks. Approximate Gross Value Added (GVA) is calculated as an input into the measurement of Gross Domestic product (GDP).
Annual Business Survey
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Annual Business Survey collects financial information for the UK non-financial business economy; variables covered include turnover, purchases and approximate gross value added.
Building Price and Cost Indices
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
Presents quarterly price and cost indices are a basic tool of the trade to anyone involved in estimating, cost checking and fee negotiation on public sector construction works including roads.
External Coherence
Department: Office for National Statistics
An article analysing the statistical relationship between Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) data.
Green Belt Statistics, England
Department: Communities and Local Government
Statistics on designated Green Belt land.
Lodgement of energy performance certificates (EPCs) and display energy certificates (DECs) covering England and Wales
Department: Communities and Local Government
Quarterly statistics summarising data recorded on the Energy Performance of Buildings Registers. The Data are lodged on the Registers as part of the process of producing a Energy Performance Certificate or Display Energy Cerificate.
Monthly Statistics of Building Materials and Components
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
Provides information on selected building materials and contains monthly data on price indices, bricks, cement and concrete blocks; and quarterly data on sand and gravel, slate, concrete roofing tiles and ready-mixed concrete.
New Orders in the construction industry
Department: Office for National Statistics
Information bulletin of the latest quarterly estimates of new construction orders and some back data. Contains new construction orders (current price and constant price seasonally adjusted) broken down by sector and, in current prices, by region and by type of work.
Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Provides information on the value of the economic activity that businesses generate and associated expenditure across the main industrial sectors in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Annual Business Inquiry
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Provides information on the value of the economic activity that businesses generate and associated expenditure across the main industrial sectors in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
This Bulletin provides a measure of the value of construction output in Northern Ireland.
Output and Employment in the Construction Industry
Department: Office for National Statistics
Construction output is a quarterly series of the output of the construction industry in both the private and public sectors.
Output in the Construction Industry
Department: Office for National Statistics
Construction output is a monthly estimate of the output of the construction industry in both the private and public sectors. The estimates are a key component of Gross Domestic Product.
Price Adjustment Formulae for Construction Contracts
Department: Business, Innovation and Skills
Used in conjunction with the formulae price adjustment method of adjusting building and civil and specialist engineering contracts.

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The main measures of activity in the construction industry are the value of new orders and value of output.

Value of New Orders

This information relates to contracts for new construction work awarded to main contractors by clients in both the public and private sectors. Contracts are allocated to types of work according to the type of construction involved, not the type of client. Regional information relates to the region of the site and not the contractor carrying out the work.

Value of Output

Contractor’s output is defined as the amount chargeable to customers for building and civil engineering work done in the relevant period. Contractors are asked to include the value of work done on their own initiative, and of work done by their own operatives on the construction and maintenance of their own premises. The value of goods made by the contractors themselves and used in the work is also included. Work done for the firm by subcontractors is excluded to avoid double counting, since subcontractors are also sampled. 

Construction Price Indices

In order to produce constant price measures of new orders and output, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) produces a number of construction price indices. These indices measure the movement of prices in competitive tenders in various sectors of Great Britain allowing constant price data to be calculated.

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Technical Data

Value of New Orders

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducts the New Orders in the Construction Industry Survey. This is a sample survey covering 5,500 construction firms. Results are grossed to give estimates for the whole of the construction industry above the VAT threshold.

Data are available for the value, nature and geographic location of orders for new construction in Great Britain. Aggregate information is available deflated to constant prices, using deflators based on tender price movements, and in seasonally adjusted form. Seasonally unadjusted cash data are available for England, Scotland, and Wales and at county and at Government Office Region level.

The Survey has been carried out on a quarterly basis since the late 1950s and on a monthly basis since 1980.

Value of Output

Construction output is a quarterly series of the output of the construction industry in both the private and public sectors. ONS collects returns of construction activity (output and employment). The results are grossed and allowance is made for the ‘unrecorded’ output of those firms and self-employed workers not on the construction industry VAT-based register.

Constant price gross output figures are included in the Gross Domestic Product, GDP(O), and calculations.

Data are collected on the value, type and geographic location of output on new construction and repair and maintenance work. Deflated data are available.

The surveys cover the whole of Great Britain. Seasonally unadjusted cash data are available for England, Scotland, and Wales and at Government Office Region level.

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  • Building completion work

    Establishments specialising in building completion work such as painting and decorating, glazing, plastering, tiling, on-site joinery and carpentry, flooring (including parquet floor laying), installation of fireplaces. Construction work carried out by direct employees of government departments, local authorities, new towns and nationalised industries in the transport sector, where information is available, is included in the published construction output and employment statistics. Output by direct employees of utilities and other private sector organisations is excluded from construction. Such work is classified to the same SIC heading as the establishment they serve.

  • Civil engineering

    Construction of roads, car parks, railways, airport runways, bridges and tunnels. Hydraulic engineering, like dams, reservoirs, harbours, rivers and canals. Irrigation and land drainage systems. Laying of pipelines, sewers, gas and water mains and electricity cables. Construction of overhead lines, line supports and aerial towers. Construction of fixed concrete oil production platforms. Construction work at oil refineries, steelworks, electricity and gas installations and other large sites. Shaft drilling and mine sinking. Laying out of parks and sports grounds.

  • Construction and repair of buildings

    Establishments engaged in the construction, improvement and repair of both residential and non‑residential buildings, including specialists engaged in sections of construction and repair work such as bricklaying, building maintenance and restoration, carpentry, roofing, scaffolding and the erection of steel and concrete structures for buildings.

  • Infrastructure

    Includes water, sewerage, electricity, gas, communications, air transport, railways, harbours (including waterways) and roads.

  • Infrastructure: air transport

    Air terminals, runways, hangars, reception halls, radar installations, perimeter fencing, which are for use in connection with airfields.

  • Infrastructure: communications

    Post offices, sorting offices, telephone exchanges, switching centres, and cables.

  • Infrastructure: electricity

    All buildings and civil engineering work for electrical undertakings such as power stations, dams and other works on hydro-electric schemes, sub-stations, laying of cables and the erection of overhead lines.

  • Infrastructure: gas

    Gas works, gas mains and gas storage.

  • Infrastructure: harbours (including waterways)

    All works and buildings directly connected with harbours, wharves, docks, piers, jetties (including oil jetties), canals and waterways, dredging, sea walls, embankments, and water defences.

  • Infrastructure: railways

    Permanent way, tunnels, bridges, cuttings, stations, engine sheds, and electrification of both surface and underground railways.

  • Infrastructure: roads

    Roads, pavements, bridges, footpaths, lighting, tunnels, flyovers and fencing.

  • Infrastructure: sewerage

    Sewerage disposal works, laying of sewers and surface drains.

  • Infrastructure: water

    Reservoirs, purification plants, dams (except for hydro-electric schemes), aqueducts, wells, conduits, water works, pumping stations, water mains and hydraulic works.

  • Installation of fixtures and fittings

    Establishments engaged in the installation of fixtures and fittings, including gas fittings, plumbing, heating and ventilation plant, sound and heat insulation, electrical fixtures and fittings.

  • New construction work

    Includes extensions, major alterations (such as improvements), site preparation and demolition, except for housing where work done on improvements, extensions and alterations and house/flat conversions is included under repair and maintenance. New construction work includes houses converted to other uses.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure

    Includes factories, warehouses, oil, steel, coal, schools and colleges, universities, health, offices, entertainment, garages, shops, agriculture and miscellaneous.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: agriculture

    Includes all buildings and work on farms, market gardens and horticultural establishments such as barns, animals’ houses, fencing, stores, greenhouses, boiler houses, agricultural and fen drainage, veterinary clinics; but not houses, or buildings solely or mainly for retail sales that are included under ‘shops’.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: coal

    All new coal mine construction such as sinking shafts, tunnelling, works and buildings at the pithead that are for use in connection with the pit. Open cast coal extraction is excluded.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: entertainment

    Theatres, concert halls, cinemas, film studios, bowling alleys, clubs, hotels, public houses, restaurants, cafes, holiday camps, yacht marinas, dance halls, swimming pools, works and buildings at sports grounds, stadiums and other places of sport or recreation and for commercial television, betting shops, youth hostels and centres; service areas on motorways are also classified in this category as the garage is usually only a small part of the complex which includes cafes and restaurants.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: factories

    Factories, shipyards, breweries, chemical works, coke ovens and furnaces (other than at steelworks), skill centres, laundries, refineries (other than oil), workshops, Royal Mint (in public sector).

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: garages

    Buildings for storage, repair and maintenance of road vehicles; transport workshops, bus depots, road goods transport depots and car parks.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: health

    Hospitals including: medical schools, clinics, surgeries (unless part of a house), medical research stations (except when part of a factory, school or university), welfare centres, centres for the handicapped and for rehabilitation, adult training centres, and junior special schools.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: miscellaneous

    All work not clearly covered by any other heading, such as: fire stations, barracks for the forces (except married quarters, classified under ‘housing’), naval dockyards, RAF airfields, police stations, prisons, reformatories and remand homes, borstals, civil defence work, UK Atomic Energy Authority work, council depots, public conveniences, museums, conference centres, crematoria, libraries, caravan sites (except those at holiday resorts), exhibitions, wholesale markets, and Royal Ordnance factories.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: offices

    Office buildings, banks, embassies. Police headquarters, local and central government offices (including town halls) are classified to the public sector.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: oil

    Oil installations including refineries, distribution pipelines and terminals and production platforms (but not modules or rigs).

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: schools and colleges

    Schools or colleges (including technical colleges and institutes of agriculture) except medical schools and junior special schools which are classified under 'Health'. Schools and colleges in the private sector are considered to be those financed wholly from private funds, such as some religious colleges including their halls of residence.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: shops

    All buildings for retail distribution such as shops, department stores, retail markets, and showrooms. Includes retail warehouses open to the public, for example DIY stores.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: steel

    Furnaces, coke ovens and other buildings directly concerned with the production of steel (excludes offices and constructional steelwork).

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: universities

    Universities including halls of residence, and research establishments.

  • Non-housing excluding infrastructure: warehouses

    Warehouses, wholesale depots. Excludes retail warehouses (for example, DIY stores), which are classified as retail.

  • Private commercial

    Includes schools and colleges, universities, health, offices, entertainment, garages, shops and agriculture.

  • Private industrial

    Includes factories, warehouses, oil, steel and coal.

  • Private sector construction work

    Private work is for a private owner or organisation or for a private developer, and includes work carried out by firms on their own initiative. It includes work where the private sector carries the majority of the risk/gain. In principle, all Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts are private.

  • Private sector housing

    All privately owned buildings for residential use, such as houses, flats and maisonettes, bungalows, cottages, vicarages, and provision of services to new developments.

  • Public sector construction work

    Public work is for any public authority such as government departments, public utilities, nationalised industries, universities, the Post Office, new town corporations, and housing associations.

  • Public sector housing

    Local authority housing schemes, hostels (except youth hostels), married quarters for the services and police; old peoples' homes; orphanages and children’s remand homes; and the provision within housing sites of roads and services for gases, water, electricity, sewage and drainage.

  • Repair and maintenance

    This concerns work, which is either repairing something, which is broken, or maintaining it to an existing standard. For housing output, this includes repairs, maintenance, improvements, house/flat conversions, extensions, alterations and redecoration on existing housing. For buildings which are not housing this includes repairs, maintenance and redecoration on existing buildings, for example schools, offices, roads and shops.

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Economic Surveys Division

Email: construction.statistics@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 456344

Head of Construction Statistics Economic Surveys Division Office for National Statistics Cardiff Road Newport NP10 8XG

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