The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today published an article setting out the impact on real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of previously announced improvements to the National Accounts that will be introduced when revised figures, consistent with Blue Book 2017, are published on 29 September 2017.

Between Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 1997 and Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2012, the average revision to quarter-on-quarter real GDP growth over the period is negative 0.01 percentage points, while the absolute revision to quarter-on-quarter real GDP growth is 0.05 percentage points. Average annual real GDP growth remains at 1.9%.

The estimated length and timing of the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn is unrevised, while the peak to trough is revised slightly from negative 6.3% to negative 6.1%.

As set out on 16 February, the changes causing revisions to growth include improvements to the measurement of actual and imputed rents, improvements to the estimates of software and “artistic originals” within investment and improvements to the estimates of costs associated with buying and selling houses and sports players. However, none of these improvements individually has a significant impact on real GDP growth revisions.

ONS Chief Economist Nick Vaughan said:

“The improvements being announced today will ensure that ONS continues to measure the changing economy as well as possible.

“While we are announcing a number of changes today, overall, these have a very small impact on average GDP growth.”

Background notes:

  1. The full National Accounts articles – Impact of Blue Book 2017 changes on chained volume measure gross domestic product estimates, 1997 to 2012 article is available.

  2. The previously published National Accounts Articles – Impact of Blue Book 2017 Changes on Current Price Gross Domestic Product Estimates, 1997 to 2012 is available.

  3. 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 2017.

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