Revisions to National Accounts data are a normal part of the Blue Book process, which reconciles the different measures of GDP and incorporates information from annual data sources. This box set out the key differences between the vintage of data used for the purposes of the October 2011 Forecast Evaluation Report and the data consistent with the 2011 Blue Book.

This box briefly sets out the key differences between the vintage of data against which our forecasts are assessed in this report, and the information in the October 5th Quarterly National Accounts, which is consistent with the forthcoming Blue Book 2011. A summary of the main implications of the new data is that:

  • the level of nominal GDP is little changed, although revisions to earlier years have caused the growth rate to be revised up;
  • a similar pattern applies to real GDP, as revisions to earlier years have boosted the calendar year growth rate, although the quarterly growth rates through the year were largely unchanged;
  • real domestic demand growth is unchanged, but with less of a contribution from investment and more from household consumption. At this stage, it is difficult to interpret the revisions to (real and nominal) consumption as a revised saving ratio for the period is not yet available; and
  • only partial data is available on the income measure of GDP. Compensation of employees has been revised slightly higher but we do not yet have updated series for wages and salaries or company profits.

Overall, the analysis presented in this chapter remains broadly intact following the partial information currently available on the Blue Book 2011 revisions. The larger revisions were concentrated in 2008 and 2009, reflecting the fact that data for these years underwent full balancing, while the 2010 data will not be balanced for the first time until Blue Book 2012.

This box was originally published in Forecast evaluation report – October 2011

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