Posts Tagged Office for National Statistics

Does the productivity gap actually exist?

Does the productivity gap actually exist?

Whoever wins the election tomorrow will have to grapple with what appears to be a fundamental economic problem. Estimated productivity growth in the UK is virtually at a standstill. The standard definition of productivity is the average output per employee across the economy as a whole, after

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The UK could teach the Eurozone a thing or two about successful monetary unions

The UK could teach the Eurozone a thing or two about successful monetary unions

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published last week some figures which show how a successful monetary union works in practice. It is not obvious at first sight, from the dry heading: “regional public sector finances”. The ONS collects information on the amounts of public spending and

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Don’t believe the myths: Capitalism has performed well since the financial crisis

Don’t believe the myths: Capitalism has performed well since the financial crisis

Ten years ago, the financial crisis began to grip the Western economies.  During the course of 2007, GDP growth slowed markedly everywhere. By the end of 2008, output was in free fall. A key theme in economic commentary is the sluggishness of the subsequent recovery of the

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What Dirty Harry tells us about economic forecasters’ Michael Fish moment

What Dirty Harry tells us about economic forecasters' Michael Fish moment

Economic forecasters are in the dock. Last week, none other than the chief economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, was confessing the crimes of the profession. The failure to predict the financial crisis was, Haldane said, economic forecasting’s “Michael Fish” moment. Thirty years ago, the

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Why we are much better off than the official statistics say

Why we are much better off than the official statistics say

The oldest surviving map of Britain was created in Canterbury a thousand years ago. Our ancestors had a good idea of how to get around. The country is depicted in its familiar shape. Understanding of the world outside Western Europe remained sketchy for centuries.  The phrase ‘here

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Closing the gender pay gap

Those who were lucky enough to attend the Wimbledon Tennis Championships recently cannot have failed to take in the sense of tradition that surrounds those who pass through the gates of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. But in one important sense, Wimbledon is a beacon of

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Why are crime rates falling?

Economic statistics are the bane of forecasters’ lives. Cynics might say that this is because the data reveal how bad their predictions are. But a big practical problem is that initial estimates of the state of the economy can be revised substantially. These issues are as nothing

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Exciting times at the Office for National Statistics: the value of drugs and prostitution

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just increased the size of the British economy by nearly £10 billion, a figure equivalent to around 0.7 per cent of the economy as a whole. George Osborne has not waved a magic wand. We have not suddenly become more

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Valentine’s Day: Myth and Reality

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us.  Many readers may recall a time when its main purpose was for love-struck teenagers to communicate, anonymously or otherwise, with the objects of their desire. Now, it is big business. It is hardly possible to enter a pub or restaurant without

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Ignore the IMF: There’s no reason for its ludicrous forecasts to change sentiment

The economics department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is up to its old tricks again – changing its mind. Just three months ago, the team cut its forecast for UK GDP growth in 2013 to 0.7 per cent from 1 per cent, sparking charges that George

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