Thursday, July 13, 2017

ONS plans monthly GDP estimates with more complete picture of UK economy

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ONS announces plans for monthly GDP estimates

ONS has announced plans to revise the publication schedule for quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and publish estimates of monthly GDP for the first time to complement the quarterly estimates it already produces.     

The expanded release schedule would provide improved estimates of GDP, with monthly GDP delivering earlier estimates of how the economy is performing without detracting from the comprehensive coverage of the quarterly estimates.             

The proposal was presented at the ONS Economic Forum in London today and will now be subject to full public consultation.  

The Forum also covered separate work currently being undertaken to explore the feasibility of 'superfast' indicators of economic activity drawing on early VAT returns provided by thousands of UK businesses.  

Such indicators could help to provide very early signs of changes in growth and broader developments in the economy, especially around turning points.

 ONS Director of Economic Statistics Nick Vaughan says: 

"It's important for ONS to strike a balance between the timeliness of GDP estimates to aid policy-makers and the reliability of the available data – and therefore reduce the potential for significant revisions. 

The publication of monthly GDP estimates within the new quarterly schedule would also consolidate the UK's international position at the forefront of short-term GDP estimation. 

This could be a significant step forward for ONS, but certainly not the last as we also explore more developments including experimental work on producing alternative economic indicators as part of the work of the new ONS Data Science Campus." 

Details of the monthly GDP proposal and consultation are discussed on the ONS National Statistical blog.

Read the full blogpost 


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