The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) has announced it will undertake an inquiry into construction statistics, after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published incorrect data on construction output last week.
The UKSA said it was “aware of various long-standing concerns about the quality of the data from which these statistics are prepared”. It is now awaiting a report from ONS on how the error came about.
The ONS reported on Friday that the construction industry had seen a 2.3% rise in output in the second quarter of 2011, but later that day recalled the figures and admitted that Q2 growth was just 0.5%. Other errors identified in the original report included the Q2 year-on-year rise in output, which was originally stated at 0.8%, but later revised toa fall of 1.6%.
The Statistics Authority said it will undertake its own independent inquiry into “all relevant matters relating to construction statistics”, and will publish it findings.
UKSA chair Michael Scholar has also written to ONS director general Stephen Penneck about wider issues relating to statistics on GDP. Scholar wrote that he felt “great concern about the publication and subsequent correction of miscalculated estimates of Output in Construction by ONS on 12 August 2011, estimates
which have implications for UK GDP statistics”.