The Construction Products Association’s survey shows activity in Q1 2011 has increased year on year

Further doubt has been thrown on official ONS figures after the latest Construction Trade Survey by the Construction Products Association (CPA) found that activity in the first quarter of 2011 has increased year on year.

The survey shows that 43% more contractors thought that the market had grown rather than shrunk over the past year. This is in contrast to ONS figures that said output actually fell.

Confirming Building’s analysis of the ONS figures last week, Noble Francis, economics director at the CPA, said: “This survey highlights that construction improved during the first quarter of the year, contrasting with the ONS’ figures that indicated it fell 4% over this period.

“However, this improving situation is compared with the final quarter of last year, which was badly affected by poor weather.”

The survey also found that tender prices were still shrinking, contradicting a RICS survey released on 5 May that suggested tender prices had reached their lowest point in Q3 2010.

The results also showed that 63% more contractors thought that tender prices had dropped over the quarter than risen, while the balance of contractors that thought that materials prices had increased was 78%.