GDP hopes dashed by statistic error
Friday 12 August 2011
Hopes that the UK's flagging economic growth would be revised upwards were dashed today following a blunder by statisticians.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) signalled that GDP in the second quarter of 2011 could potentially be revised up to 0.3% from its previous estimate of a lacklustre 0.2%.
This was after it said that the construction industry grew by 2.3% in the quarter, which was significantly more than its previous estimate of 0.5%.
But, shortly afterwards, it realised it had made an "arithmetical error" and revised the construction figures back down to 0.5%.
Crucially, this is no longer enough to provide a noticeable boost to the economic figures.
The agency, which produces information on behalf of the Government, issued a message some four hours after the original statistical bulletin was released that said that the rise in the construction figures had been "overstated".
But for three hours it was unable to give any indication about how far the new figure would be downgraded until it had carried out more calculations.
The ONS had been under pressure in recent weeks to lift its estimates for construction because they were gloomier than other industry surveys.
The construction sector accounts for only about 6% of the UK's economy but helped to drive the UK's recovery in the first three quarters of last year as it bounced back from savage cuts to building projects made during the recession.
But the sector slipped back into decline in the final quarter of 2010 as public sector and civil engineering work was cancelled amid the austerity cuts.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...