Monthly GDP Tracker
On Tuesday 10th July 2018, NIESR launched a new monthly GDP tracker to complement the new monthly GDP series published by the Office for National Statistics on the same day.
For more than twenty years, NIESR has provided the only published estimates of monthly GDP for the United Kingdom. These were based exclusively on monthly and quarterly information published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But from this month, the ONS will be publishing its own estimates of monthly GDP alongside a range of other short-term economic indicators, including indexes of construction, production and services. The ONS estimate of monthly GDP will have a two month lag. NIESR will supplement this by continuing to provide an estimate for the previous month’s GDP and, in addition, a full forecast for the quarter of publication.
Welcoming the ONS initiative, which builds on NIESR’s ground-breaking contribution, NIESR’s Director of Macroeconomic Modelling and Forecasting Garry Young said: "Our new monthly GDP tracker will support the ONS effort to offer a more complete snapshot of the economy. The tracker will include a commentary on the latest cyclical position of the UK economy drawing on the latest data published by the ONS, together with information from business and consumer surveys, other relevant intelligence and judgement, and NIESR’s short-term predictions for GDP growth in all months up to the end of the quarter of publication. By drawing out the implications of the latest data in this way, NIESR will provide an earlier guide to quarterly GDP growth in the current and preceding quarter than will be published by the ONS.”*
NIESR’s short-term predictions of monthly GDP growth will be based on bottom-up analysis of recent trends in the monthly sub-components of GDP. These predictions will be constructed by aggregating statistical model forecasts of ten sub-components of GDP. The statistical models that have been developed make use of past trends in the data as well as survey evidence to build short-term predictions of the sub-components of monthly GDP. These will provide a statistically-based guide to current trends based on the latest available data. Each month these predictions will be updated as new ONS data and new surveys become available.
The NIESR monthly GDP tracker will be published at 14.00.
*In July 2018, for example, NIESR will publish an estimate of GDP growth in the second quarter of 2018, whereas the first ONS estimate of growth in the second quarter will be published on 10th August 2018. At the same time, NIESR will also publish a short-term prediction for growth in the third quarter, based on recent trends in the data, four months ahead of the ONS first estimate that will be published on 9th November 2018. It is important to stress that the timelier NIESR guide to quarterly GDP growth will be less reliable than the subsequent ONS data releases as its data content is lower, particularly for estimates of the current quarter which in some months will be based only on forecasts rather than hard data. To mitigate this issue, NIESR will provide a guide to average errors based on past performance. NIESR will also each month provide clear guidance on how the latest news has caused its estimates of GDP growth in the current and preceding quarter to change and thereby quantify how the short-term outlook is being affected by recent data releases.
The schedule of publication is on the left menu.