GDP Data Revisions

The importance of accurate GDP data is often understated and there is a need to document carefully the extent of revisions to statistics on economic activity and evaluate how this affects macroeconomic policy as well as examine ways to improve statistical methods.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has a trade-off between providing estimates on measures of economic activity, such as GDP, quickly, but also accurately. Information sources used to calculate GDP often take up to three years to arrive, but policymakers need to know before this the state of the economy. As such, the ONS uses a fraction (44%) of the eventual data source to make first estimates of the GDP. [...]

What is economic development?

‘What is economic development and how would you measure it? Does an increase in per capita national income always constitute an increase in the standard of living?’

Economic development is hard to define, but is an improvement in the living conditions of the population as a whole. Whilst closely linked with economic growth – high growth could result in high development – they are not the same thing and economic growth, as we shall discover, does not necessarily equate to economic development. It can be measured in a variety of different ways and Streeten believes it is necessary for its own sake, to improve the condition of people, because it results in higher productivity and lower fertility (which is generally seen as a good thing), can lead to a better environment and a healthier civil society, democracy and social stability. [...]

UK GDP Growth Shrinks in Q4 2012

The UK economy has shrunk by 0.3% in line with many economists’ predictions. The fall is mainly due to a slowdown in North Sea oil extraction, excluding oil and gas extraction the economy shrank 0.1%. This comes after a previous 0.9% growth in GDP during Q3.

Nick Clegg has blamed a lack of capital investment (investment in infrastructure) by the government as an explanation to why GDP is still lacklustre 5 years after the onset of the global financial crisis ( Increased capital spending would result in a rightward (positive) shift of the long run average cost curve. [...]