Our annual Forecast evaluation report (FER), published each autumn, examines how our forecasts compare to subsequent outturn data and identifies lessons for future forecasts.
Within each of our key publications we include topical ‘boxes’. These self-contained analyses are unique to this publication and tend to cover recent developments in the economy or public finances that complement the main discussion of our analyses.
Each year, the ONS publishes the National Accounts ‘Blue Book’. The revisions it contains are often a source of revisions to our subsequent forecasts. In this box, we illustrated the scope for history to be rewritten by exploring how the reported pattern of the recession and recovery of the early 1990s had evolved between the Blue Books published shortly after the recession and the most recent Blue Books available at the time.
An alternative way to view the sectoral decomposition of the economy is to look at the financial balances of households, firms, government and the rest of the world. This box explored net lending by sector from 2008 to 2012, and how this compared with our June 2010 forecast
The UK, the US and Germany all saw broadly similar falls in GDP over 2009, but their labour markets responded differently. This box discussed these differences and compared the behaviour of employment, hours and productivity over this period.
To estimate the impact of a measure or package on the economy, we use a set of fiscal multipliers. This box outlined some recent research on the size of multipliers and how the multiplier varies during the economic cycle.