Construction output for the fourth quarter and the whole year of 2008
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     The total gross value of construction works performed by main contractors in the fourth quarter of 2008 increased by 2.6% in nominal terms over a year earlier to $25.5 billion, according to the provisional results of the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output released today (March 12) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).  In real terms, a decrease of 7.1% was registered.

     Gross value of construction works in real terms is derived by deflating the corresponding nominal value with an appropriate price index to the price level in 2000.

     Within this total, the gross value of construction works performed at private sector sites increased by 8.8% in nominal terms in the fourth quarter of 2008 from a year earlier, and that at public sector sites increased by 15.1%.  As for construction works performed by contractors at locations other than construction sites, the gross value decreased by 4.4% in nominal terms over the same period.

     In real terms, the gross value of construction works performed at private sector sites decreased by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008 from a year earlier.  For public sector sites, an increase of 3.5% was recorded.  On the other hand, the gross value of construction works performed by contractors at locations other than construction sites decreased by 13.5% over the same period.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the gross value of construction works performed by main contractors increased by 2.1% in nominal terms or 0.8% in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared with the third quarter of 2008.

     For 2008 as a whole, the total gross value of construction works performed by main contractors increased by 6.5% in nominal terms compared with 2007 to $98.9 billion.

     After discounting price changes, the total gross value of construction works performed by main contractors decreased by 1.0% in real terms over the same period.

     Analysed by type of construction works, the gross value of construction works performed at private sector sites totalled $32.9 billion in 2008, up by 13.6% in nominal terms as compared with 2007.  In real terms, it increased by 3.7%.  The increase was mainly associated with the progressive stepping up of construction works at some large residential building sites.

     The gross value of construction works performed at public sector sites amounted to $15.3 billion in 2008, up by 5.5% in nominal terms as compared with 2007.  In real terms, it decreased by 4.3%.  The nominal increase was mainly due to commencement of a number of public residential building projects.

     On the other hand, the gross value of construction works performed by contractors at locations other than construction sites amounted to $50.7 billion in 2008, up by 2.6% in nominal terms over 2007.  In real terms, there was a 2.9% decrease.  Construction works at locations other than construction sites include minor new construction activities and renovation works at erected buildings and structures; and electrical and mechanical fitting work at locations other than construction sites.

     Analysed by end-use category, residential building projects accounted for the largest share in the gross value of construction works performed at construction sites in 2008.  The gross value of construction works performed for these projects amounted to $20.1 billion, up by 24.9% in nominal terms as compared with 2007.

     Commercial building projects constituted the second largest category of construction site works. The gross value of construction works performed for these projects totalled $9.9 billion in 2008, down by 9.7% in nominal terms as compared with 2007.

     Table 1 and 2 show the gross value of construction works performed by main contractors in the fourth quarter and the whole year of 2008 respectively.  Table 3 shows the revised figures for the third quarter of 2008.

     Owing to the widespread sub-contracting practices in the construction industry, a construction establishment can be a main contractor for one contract and a sub-contractor for another contract at the same time.  The gross value of construction works performed by main contractors covers only those projects in which the construction establishment takes the role of a main contractor, but not projects in which it takes only the role of a sub-contractor.  However, sub-contractors' contribution to projects should have been included in the gross value of construction works performed by main contractors for whom they worked.

     Starting from the fourth quarter of 2008, seasonal adjustment of the gross value of construction works is performed using the X-12 ARIMA method to replace the previous X-11 ARIMA method.  X-12 ARIMA method is an update to the X-11 ARIMA method with enhanced modelling and diagnostic capabilities.  The X-12 ARIMA has now been a standard method used by statistical offices for performing seasonal adjustment of statistical series in many countries/territories.

     More detailed statistics are given in the "Report on the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output, 4th Quarter 2008".  Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/commerce_and_industry/index.jsp).

     Print version of this publication is available for sale at HK$25 per issue.  Purchase can be done in person at the Publications Unit of the C&SD (Address: 19/F Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; Tel.: 2582 3025) or through mail order by returning a completed order form which can be downloaded from the C&SD’s website (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/other_services/provision_of_stat/mail_ordering_of_publications/index.jsp).  Print version of this publication is also available for sale online at the Government Bookstore of the Information Services Department (www.bookstore.gov.hk).

     For enquiries about the survey results, please contact the Construction and Miscellaneous Services Statistics Section of the C&SD (Telephone: 2805 6426 or email: building@censtatd.gov.hk).

Ends/Thursday, March 12, 2009
Issued at HKT 16:30

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