Reconciled estimates and nowcasts of regional output in the UK

Publication date: 29 Jul 2020 | Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | NIESR Author(s): Mitchell, J | External Author(s): Koop, G; McIntyre, S; Poon, A | JEL Classification: C11, C53, O4, R1 | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 253 | Publisher: Oxford University Press, Oxford

There is renewed interest in levelling up the regions of the UK. The combination of social and political discontent, and the sluggishness of key UK macroeconomic indicators like productivity growth, has led to increased interest in understanding the regional economies of the UK. In turn, this has led to more investment in economic statistics. Specifically, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently started to produce quarterly regional GDP data for the nine English regions and Wales that date back to 2012Q1. This complements existing real GVA data for the regions available from the ONS on an annual basis back to 1998; with the devolved administrations of Scotland and Northern Ireland producing their own quarterly output measures. In this paper we reconcile these two data sources along with UK quarterly output data that date back to 1970. This enables us to produce both more timely real terms estimates of quarterly economic growth in the regions of the UK and a new reconciled historical time-series of quarterly regional real output data from 1970. We explore a number of features of interest of these new data. This includes producing a new quarterly regional productivity series and commenting on the evolution of regional productivity growth in the UK. 

Keyword tags: 
Bayesian methods
Mixed frequency
Regional nowcasting
Vector auto-regressions
regional productivity
regional economics