New sources and methods transforming GDP
20 Aug 2019 10:55 AM
The Office for National Statistics has today published indicative revisions to quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) for 1997 to 2016 that will first be included in headline estimates from the end of September 2019.
The latest estimates use a variety of new systems and sources including newly introduced surveys on the costs facing businesses and the products produced by the service sector. These will be processed using a new framework in line with international best practice. Several methodological improvements have also been introduced, including significant changes to the way “capital assets” – such as buildings and machinery – are measured.
The new figures show that between 1997 and 2016, average annual growth was revised up by 0.1 percentage points, from 2.0% to 2.1% per year.
The UK economy is now estimated to have fallen by 6.0% during the financial crisis, revised up by 0.3 percentage points from a fall of 6.3%. The length of the contraction during the financial crisis remains at five negative quarters. However, the economy is now estimated to have returned to its pre-recession levels one quarter earlier than previous estimates, in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2013 .
In cash terms, the total package of changes has increased the estimated size of the economy in 2016 by approximately £26.0 billion (1.3% of GDP) to £1,995.5 billion.
Commenting on today’s figures, Head of GDP Rob Kent-Smith said:
“These new figures are produced using new sources and methods, giving significantly improved estimates of how money moves around the UK economy.
“While these figures are calculated using more and better information than was previously available, overall, they paint a very similar picture about the size and growth in the economy to our current estimates.”
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