Meeting comes as Barbour ABI survey reveals 39% drop in value of new work

A team from the Construction Products Association will meet the Bank of England’s chief economist Spencer Dale on 1 June to discuss the ONS’ reporting of the construction economy.

The Bank requested the meeting after the CPA wrote to it and chancellor George Osborne over the ONS’ estimates of construction output. The CPA has been publicly critical of the output estimates - arguing that the 4% fall recorded in the first quarter bears little relation to the state of the sector.

Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said: “The Bank asked us to give them a presentation on why we think what the ONS is saying is not representative of the industry.

“It’s important they have the right information when making decisions on interest rates.”

Meanwhile, data from UBM sister organisation Barbour ABI claims the total value of new work awarded to the top 50 UK contractors fell by 39% since May 2010.

It found the value of new contract awards fell from £34.5bn to £21bn.

Noble Francis, economics director with CPA, said the situation isn’t likely to be as bad as the Barbour data suggests. He said: “Project pipeline data tends to be much more volatile than workloads, especially when the pipeline data is on contracts awarded.”

The ONS plans to carry out a routine methodological review of its construction questionnaire to complete later this year.