Home » The latest construction new orders figures

The latest construction new orders figures

Published: 21/11/2023

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes quarterly data measuring the value and volume of main contractors’ new orders in Great Britain by sector and type of work. The data primarily comes from planning applications submitted to local authorities. 

New orders up overall in 3Q2023, but down 20% on the year 

Total construction new orders increased by 3.9% in 3Q2023 compared with 2Q2023, mainly driven by public non housing (23.7%) and infrastructure (14.3%). ONS reported this was the first positive quarter after three consecutive quarters of decreasing new orders. 

However, comparing the third quarter to the same period last year, all types of work saw declining new orders apart from public housing, leading to an overall decrease of 20.0%. The largest fall was in infrastructure, which was down 38.5% on the same period last year.


% change 3Q2023 on 



New housing public  0.1%  49.9% 
New housing private  0.9%  -11.3% 
Infrastructure  14.3%  -38.5% 
Public non housing  23.7%  -6.3% 
Private industrial  -7.8%  -28.5% 
Private commercial  0.0%  -20.5% 
All new work  3.9%  -20.0% 

Source: ONS – New Orders for construction: volume seasonally adjusted growth rates, by main contractor, by sector, constant prices 

Dr David Crosthwaite, Chief Economist at BCIS: ‘Whereas output figures for the third quarter were a cause for some muted optimism across sectors, the big decreases in planned work are much more concerning.

‘We know that infrastructure, in particular, is subject to cycles in activity and there are often peaks and troughs in planned work through control periods. However, while new orders in 3Q2023 were up on 2Q2023 for infrastructure, new orders then were the lowest they have been, as measured by the index, since 2Q2020 and, before that, 2Q2011.

‘There was very little in the King’s Speech to inspire hope for the construction industry. We now look to the government to offer some clarity and consistency in its consideration of the industry in the Autumn Statement tomorrow, not least in the urgent need for publication of the updated National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline.’

Access BCIS Online

A tool designed for building professionals to help prepare top level cost plans, provide early cost advice to clients and benchmark costs for both commercial and residential buildings

Find out more

LinkedIn Follow Button - BCIS