Last edited 06 Jan 2021

Construction statistics no longer designated as National Statistics

In a letter from Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation at the UK Statistics Authority, to John Pullinger, National Statistician, on 11 December 2014, it was made clear that UK statistics for Construction Output and New Orders can no longer be designated as National Statistics.

The UK Statistics Authority said:

“ONS established that it did not have sufficient information to be able to offer users appropriate assurances about the quality of its deflators, with Dame Kate Barker’s National Statistics Quality Review: National Accounts and Balance of Payments referring to the existence of a ‘black box’ around the quality of the source data used for BIS’s construction price indices.

“…the Authority has decided to discontinue the designation of Construction Output and New Orders as National Statistics. Taken as a whole, the Code of Practice for Official Statistics aims to ensure that official statistics meet the needs of users; are produced, managed, and disseminated to a high standard; and that statistics are well explained. The Authority has concluded that, despite the sensible steps taken by ONS, this overall objective of the Code has not been met."

An ONS Statement in response to the decision said:

“Since taking over publication of construction output statistics in 2008, ONS has relied on price data from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)…. ONS has requested an extensive programme of quality assurance involving BIS and other partners to ensure that new construction prices and related statistics meet a high standard…. The monthly UK Construction Output series will continue to be published using statistical modelling to create the relevant price deflators for the sector.”

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