Sunday, 29 April 2012

How wrong does the ONS get its initial GDP figures?

After the Times' criticism of the Office for National Statistics for releasing an early estimate of the GDP data, that the newspaper didn't like, it is worth looking at how off these first releases tend to be.

Check out this graph

For the most part, the orange line is lower than the blue line, meaning there probably is some scope for the the figures to be revised up by the 0.2 percentage points. This would then mean that there would not have been two quarters of 'negative growth' or a recession to you and me.

Although somewhat amusingly, on of the few points where the initial estimate was higher was the one which prompted that gushing Times leader I flagged up in the last post, about how we had avoided double dip recession.

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