House of Commons Library

How GDP statistics are changing from July 2018

Published Monday, July 2, 2018

A summary of changes the Office for National Statistics are making to the GDP publication schedule from July 2018, including a new monthly GDP estimate.

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - the total value of new goods produced and services provided in the economy. These estimates rely on a wide array of sources, such as business and household surveys and tax data.

Up until mid-2018 the ONS published GDP data, including GDP growth rates, for quarters of the year only. For example, the first quarter of the year (Q1) covering the three-month period January-March, or Q2 covering April-June.

A new publication release schedule introduced in July 2018 will see estimates of monthly GDP and GDP growth published for the first time. As individual monthly data will be volatile, the ONS will also produce a rolling three-month figure that will be its preferred measure – for instance, the three-month period March-May etc. This will be similar to the way labour market statistics are published.

The monthly data release will be limited in its detail, with headline GDP figures, including GDP growth rates, and economic output by industry available.

The monthly figures will be published around six weeks after the month in question has ended. For example, on 10 July 2018, data for May will be published.

The diagram below provides an illustration of the new GDP publication schedule from the ONS. It shows the release date on the left-hand side with the period for which GDP estimates are published in the coloured boxes in the middle of the diagram. Click on the image below to enlarge it.

 New GDP pubication schedule

 

 

 

 

More detailed breakdowns of GDP by expenditure components – consumer and government spending, investment and trade – and by income components – household incomes and corporate profits – will still be published on a quarterly basis, as they were before.

See the full report in the PDF below for more detail.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8358

Author: Daniel Harari

Topic: Economic situation

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