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Announcement by the National Statistician

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Arrangements for pre-release access to statistics for the Bank of England and the Treasury.

Issue date: 15 December 2008
Type: Statement

In accordance with the authority vested in me by Principle 5 of the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order 2008 which came into force on 1 December, and with respect to statistics provided to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England and Her Majesty's Treasury, I have granted exceptions to the restriction in the Order which limits pre-release access to a maximum of 24 hours. 

I have agreed to three extensions to pre-release access to statistics:

  • The PPI (or any other relevant statistics) will be provided to the Bank of England at 8am on Thursday in months when it would be released publicly on the Friday after the MPC meeting. This will avoid statistics being made available in the middle of the MPC meeting after some members have cast their policy vote and others have not.

  • ONS will provide the Monetary Policy Committee with an advance estimate of the CPI at 3pm on Wednesday in months when the MPC is meeting the week before CPI publication. If the MPC were to be denied this advance information it could, on occasion, impair the quality of interest rate decisions, with substantial consequences for our economy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Permanent Secretary and Managing Director of the Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policy Directorate at HM Treasury will also have access to the advance estimate of the CPI, to allow the Treasury to perform its role effectively in facilitating the coordination of monetary and fiscal policy.

  • In months when an Open Letter from the Governor of the Bank of England to the Chancellor is triggered ONS will inform the Bank and the Treasury at 5pm on the Friday before CPI publication. This will enable the Open Letter from the Governor and the Chancellor's response to be published as soon as possible after the CPI publication.

As well as placing this notification on the ONS website, I have also written to Sir Michael Scholar, the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, explaining the reasons for my decisions.

Karen Dunnell

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