Impact of Blue Book 2023 on UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the latest findings on the impact of the Blue Book 2023 changes on the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and related economic measures. These changes incorporate improvements in data sources and methodologies that aim to provide a more accurate representation of the UK’s economic performance.

Key Findings:

  1. Annual GDP Growth Revisions: The revisions from 1997 to 2019 generally show minor changes. However, more significant revisions are observed for the years 2020 and 2021. The annual current price GDP growth for 2021 has been revised up by 0.9 percentage points to an 8.5% increase, following a fall of 5.8% in 2020.
  2. Quarterly GDP Profile: For the period between Quarter 2, 1997, and Quarter 4, 2019, modest revisions have been made to the quarterly profile of current price GDP growth. There’s an average absolute revision of 0.1 percentage points.
  3. Volume GDP Growth: In 2020, the average volume GDP is now estimated to have fallen by 10.4%, revised up by 0.6 percentage points. In 2021, average volume GDP is revised up from a previous estimate of 7.6% to 8.7%. This upward revision reflects both updated data and methodological changes.
  4. GDP Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels: Due to these revisions, UK’s real GDP in Quarter 4, 2021, is now estimated to be 0.6% above its pre-pandemic levels (Quarter 4, 2019). Previously, it was estimated as 1.2% below.
  5. Impact on GDP Deflator: The implied GDP deflator, a measure of inflation in the domestic economy, has been affected by these changes. In 2020, the average GDP implied deflator growth is revised down to 5.1%, influenced by upward volume revisions. In 2021, the average GDP implied deflator is now estimated to have fallen slightly by 0.1%, down from a previous estimate of no growth.

The Blue Book 2023 incorporates various improvements, including better data sources, methodology enhancements, and the use of supply and use tables (SUTs) to analyze economic activities. These changes offer a more accurate reflection of the UK’s economic performance, especially during the turbulent period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s important to note that these estimates are subject to revision as more robust data becomes available. The UK’s approach to measuring GDP through the SUT framework positions it as one of the first countries to estimate economic data for 2020 and 2021, providing valuable insights into the effects of the pandemic on its economy.

Further detailed analysis and lower-level estimates are expected to be published later in September 2023, ahead of the release of Blue Book 2023 on October 31, 2023. These additional insights will shed more light on the impacts of the changes and the performance of various sectors within the UK economy.

For a comprehensive understanding of these changes and their implications, refer to the official release by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).