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Impact of national accounts improvements on balance of payments and sector and financial accounts revealed

The Office for National Statistics has today published indicative revisions to the sector and financial accounts and balance of payments for 1997 to 2016. Today’s figures also include indicative revisions to UK gross national income (GNI). These new estimates will first be included in the headline figures from the end of September 2019.

The latest estimates use new systems and sources, including new surveys on the costs facing businesses and the outputs of the services sector. They are being processed using a new framework that is in line with international best practice.

The average absolute revision to the UK’s annual current account deficit is 0.1 percentage points of gross domestic product (GDP) between 1997 to 2016. The current account deficit is revised up from £102.8 billion to £104.0 billion in 2016 but remained unchanged as a share of GDP (5.2%). The small revisions to the size of the current account deficit are due mainly to the inclusion of improved estimates of cross-border transactions in the UK’s financial sector.

The average upward revision to the level of annual UK GNI between 1997 and 2016 is positive 0.8%. In 2016, UK GNI has been revised up £27.5 billion (positive 1.4%) to £1,947.6 billion. As with GDP, the main cause of upward revisions to UK GNI is the inclusion of improved estimates of the length of time capital items, such as buildings and computers, are used before being replaced.

The average absolute revision to the saving ratio between 1997 and 2016 was 0.7 percentage points. Revisions to the saving ratio range from negative 2.4 percentage points in 1998 to positive 1.0 percentage points in 2010.

Background notes:

  1. An article highlighting the main impacts on the balance of payments and UK GNI is available.

  2. An article highlighting the main impacts on the sector and financial accounts is available.

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