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National Accounts changes: impact on real GDP growth 1997 to 2016

ONS has yesterday published revised National Accounts and Balance of Payments figures, including recently announced improvements, in line with the 2016 Blue and Pink Books.

The impact of these changes has previously been published up to 2014. New data published yesterday show that the improvements led to annual GDP growth for 2015 being revised down 0.1 percentage points to growth of 2.2%, while quarter on quarter growth in Q1 2016 was unrevised at 0.4%.

Over the whole period from 1997 to 2015 average annual GDP growth was unrevised at 2.0%, while between Q2 1997 and Q1 2016 average quarterly growth was unrevised at 0.5%.

The peak to trough of the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn was revised from -6.1% to -6.3%, with GDP returning to pre-economic downturn levels in Q3 2013, one quarter later than previously estimated.

Between 1997 and 2015, the average annual revision to the current account balance was -£0.3bn, while the average absolute revision was £1.3bn. Over this period, the average annual current account deficit was previously £37.9 billion but is now put at £38.1 billion.

The average revision to the saving ratio was -0.3% and the average absolute revision was 0.7%. The saving ratio – household savings as a percentage of available income – is now estimated to be 6.1% in 2015 as compared with 4.2% in the previous estimates. The revised figures suggest the saving ratio has been broadly flat since 2013, as compared with the downward path shown in the previous years. The upward revisions to later periods reflect revised wages and salaries data from HMRC.

As previously announced, the improvement that has the biggest impact on real GDP growth between 1997-2015 is changed methodology for imputed rentals, which contributed between -0.4 and +0.4 percentage points to the change in annual real GDP growth over the period. The biggest impact is in 2010, due to the improved figures removing a previous discontinuity in the imputed rentals series. Other improvements being made that have the most significant impacts on growth are the measurement of social transfers in kind, imports of gas, investment and the level of income concealed by businesses. These, though, contribute only between -0.1 and +0.1 percentage points to the change in annual real GDP growth over the period.

ONS previously published articles setting out the impact on the Sector & Financial Accounts and Balance of Payments, including the impact on GNI, 1997-2014 on 7 June, an article setting out the impact on Quarterly and Annual GDP growth for 1997-2014 on 20 May, articles setting out the impact on the Sector & Financial Accounts and Balance of Payments 1997-2011 on 26 April, an article setting out the impact on real GDP growth between 1997-2011 on 23 March and an article setting out the impact of the changes on current price GDP on 24 February.

Background notes

  1. The full ‘Impact of methods changes to the National Accounts and Sector & Financial Accounts, Q1 1997 to Q1 2016’ article is available.
    ONS previously published ‘Impact of Blue Book 2016 Changes on Current Price and Chained Volume Measure Gross Domestic Product Estimates, 1997 to 2014’ article is available.
  2. ONS previously published ‘Detailed assessment of changes to Balance of Payments annual estimates, 1997 to 2011’ article is available.
  3. ONS previously published ‘Detailed assessment of changes to Sector and Financial Accounts 1997 to 2011’ article is available.
  4. ONS previously published ‘Impact of Blue Book 2016 Changes on Chained Volume Measure Gross Domestic Product Estimates, 1997 to 2011’ article is available.
  5. The ONS also previously published:
  6. The previously published ‘Impact of Blue Book 2016 Changes on Current Price Gross Domestic Product Estimates, 1997 to 2011’ is available but please note that small updates to these estimates have been published yesterday.
  7. The previously published article explaining the scope of changes to be introduced in the 2016 Blue and Pink books is available.
  8. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. © Crown copyright 2016.

 

Channel website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/

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