UK economy £26bn bigger than previously thought, says ONS

Britain’s economy is slightly bigger than previously thought according to new estimates published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said new methodology and data suggested gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was about £26bn, or 1.3% greater than earlier calculations had shown, at just under £2tn.

They indicated that the economy grew at a slightly faster average annual pace of 2.1% between 1997 and 2016, up from 2% estimated previously.

The figures also showed that UK GDP shrank by 6% during the financial crisis, revised from 6.3%, and that the economy returned to its pre-crisis peak in the first quarter of 2013, a quarter earlier than previously thought.

The ONS regularly updates its methods for measuring the economy.

Its latest estimates used new surveys focused on costs faced by businesses, as well as changes to the way assets such as buildings and machinery are measured.

Rob Kent-Smith, ONS head of GDP, said: “These new figures are produced using new sources and methods, giving significantly improved estimates of how money moves around the UK economy.

“While these figures are calculated using more and better information than was previously available, overall, they paint a very similar picture about the size and growth in the economy to our current estimates.”

The revisions will start to be included in headline GDP estimates from next month.


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