September 2010 GDP estimates

Pub. Date
08 September, 2010
Pub. Type




Our monthly estimates of GDP suggest that output grew by 0.7 per cent in the three months ending in August after 1.3 per cent in the three months ending in July. The pace of economic growth may have softened in the three months to August, but it is still a robust rate for the UK. Unfortunately, the rate of growth will continue to decelerate over the coming months. These recent numbers do not alter our view that the MPC will hold off from raising interest rates until the summer of next year.

The National Institute interprets the term “recession” to mean a period when output is falling or receding, while “depression” is a period when output is depressed below its previous peak. Thus, unless output turns down again, the recession is over, while the period of depression is likely to continue for some time. We do not expect output to pass its peak in early 2008 until 2012.

Our track record in producing early estimates of GDP suggests that our projection for the most recent three-month period has a standard error of 0.1-0.2% point when compared to the first estimate produced by the Office for National Statistics. This comparison can be made only for complete calendar quarters. Outside calendar quarters the figures are less reliable than this and they are also likely to be less accurate in the current disturbed economic circumstances. 

A paper describing the methodology used to produce the data was published in the February 2005 volume of the Economic Journal. From April until October 2006 our estimates were computed using the Index of Services published by ONS. However this monthly series shows considerable volatility which has caused us some problems in estimating GDP. From our November 2006 press release we have therefore reverted to using a model of private services output based on indicator variables. This means that, while all our figures for calendar quarters are fully coherent with ONS data, our estimates of monthly private service output are not. The series can be thought of as indicating the underlying value of the ONS series. 

For more information please telephone Simon Kirby on 020 7654 1916.