We are currently re-assessing the extent to which ONS’s Construction Output and Construction Output Price Indices statistics meet the professional standards set out in the statutory Code of Practice for Official Statistics. The National Statistics status of both sets of statistics was withdrawn in December 2014. In respect of Construction Output and New Orders statistics and in regard to Construction Costs and Prices Indices (now renamed Output Price Indices) there were concerns about the method used to deflate output to remove the effects of inflation. We are now assessing both sets of statistics as ONS has made changes to the method used to remove the effects of deflation and developed the statistics further since 2014.
The Code of Practice covers a wide range of issues such as the quality of the statistics, their accessibility and the way that the producer body engages with users. Capturing the views of users, and potential users, forms an important part of our judgment about the statistics, including how they could be improved. Feedback can be in any form, but it would be particularly helpful to us if you could structure your response around the following areas:
- Broadly, to what extent are you comfortable that these statistics are fit for the purpose of measuring the output of the construction industry in Great Britain– a key component in estimating the productivity of the industry?
- What would you describe as the principal limitations in the statistics in respect to the use to which you put the statistics?
- To what extent are you confident that the statistics present good estimates of:
- the main aggregate statistics of construction output in GB can be found in the statistics?
- the component statistics such as new work, repair and maintenance, new housing (public and private), infrastructure?
- the inflation-adjusted measures of real changes in outputs?
- the regional breakdowns of output?
- Are you aware of the various articles that ONS has published about these statistics? Are you interested in knowing about ONS’s methodological developments to improve the estimates? To what extent are you confident in the methodology for estimating construction price changes or don’t you know enough about the methodology to make a judgement?
- ONS has to make adjustments to these statistics to make them comparable with other European countries’ construction statistics. Do you use either ONS’s GB statistics or Eurostat adjusted UK stats or both? Is international comparability of the construction output statistics an important feature for you?
- How do you use the statistics in your analysis and decision-making?
- How easy is for you to access and use the statistics, for example do you pull the data directly into analytical programmes for which you need the data to be machine-readable? Alternatively, do you use the aggregate statistics alone or use the spreadsheets to manipulate data manually into your own spreadsheets?
- What would be the most important development in these statistics, which would make the statistics more useful and more trustworthy for you?
We welcome comments on any other aspect of these statistics, which you think might be relevant to our re-assessment.
It may be useful for us to share your comments with ONS to enable them to take account of your views. Please could you advise if you are happy for us to pass your comments and contact details on?
Finally, we may want to contact you to discuss your views. Please indicate whether you are happy for us to do so, and provide contact details. You may send your response via email to regulation@Statistics.gov.uk or, if you would prefer, to speak to the assessment team please call Iain Russell (01329 447704), or Chris Davies (01329 447240).
Alternatively, our postal address is:
Office for Statistics Regulation
Statistics House, Cardiff Road
Newport, NP10 8XG
We look forward to receiving your comments by 30 November 2017