Office for National Statistics
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New suite of faster economic indicators announced

The Office for National Statistics (ONS ) yesterday announced a suite of new, faster economic indicators, developed by its Data Science Campus.

The new indicators include producing a “diffusion index” using early Value Added Tax (VAT) returns that will show whether, on average, UK businesses are seeing turnover grow or not. There will also be a new index that uses ship tracking data to monitor the level of traffic coming in and out of each UK port and an index using road traffic camera data to track the number of lorries on England’s roads.

These new measures will provide an early picture of changes in the UK economy and may aid economic and monetary policy-makers and analysts in interpreting the economy.

However, it is important to note that these new indicators are not attempting to forecast or predict gross domestic product (GDP) or other headline economic statistics and the indicators should not be used in this way.

The ONS plans to publish these new indicators on a monthly basis from mid-April 2019.

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