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ONS revisions: Economic abracadabra won’t magic away our problems

First Published:, 3/07/2014

Changes to the way we calculate UK GDP may help us in the future, but they won’t solve the economic issues of the day

At the end of September, once you’re back from your holidays and the kids are back at school, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is going to perform a bit of statistical magic for us. It is going to show that the level of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product is higher than we thought it was, the recession in 2009 wasn’t as deep as we assumed, and that the last peak in the economy in the first quarter of 2008 was surpassed in the first three months of 2014. This major overhaul in the way we calculate GDP is going to be unequivocally good news in some respects, and it might even reveal that our productivity funk hasn’t been as abysmal as it is estimated to be. But don’t reach for the bunting quite yet—even the ONS can’t magic away deep-seated concerns about our economic predicament and prospects. If anything, it might just make a rise in interest rates more likely….“more:”