GDP quarterly national accounts, UK: October to December 2021

Revised quarterly estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the UK. Uses additional data to provide a more precise indication of economic growth than the first estimate.

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Contact:
Email Niamh McAuley

Release date:
31 March 2022

Next release:
12 May 2022

1. Main points

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 1.3% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021, upwardly revised from the first quarterly estimate of a 1.0% increase.

  • The level of GDP is now 0.1% below where it was pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) at Quarter 4 2019, revised from the previous estimate of 0.4% below.

  • Annual GDP in 2021 is now estimated to have increased by a revised 7.4% (previously 7.5%), following a revised 9.3% decline in 2020 (previously 9.4% fall).

  • In output terms, the largest contributors to the Quarter 4 increase were from human health and social work activities, driven by increased GP visits at the start of the quarter, and a large increase in coronavirus testing and tracing activities, and the extension of the vaccination programme.

  • The UK's net borrowing position with the rest of the world reduced to negative 1.3% as a percentage of GDP in Quarter 4 2021 compared with negative 5.1% of GDP in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2021.

  • The household saving ratio decreased to 6.8% in Quarter 4 2021 compared with 7.5% in Quarter 3 2021.

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GDP estimates for Quarter 4 2021 are subject to more uncertainty than usual as a result of the challenges we faced estimating GDP in the current conditions.

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2. Headline GDP figures

UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 1.3% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021, upwardly revised from the first quarterly estimate of 1.0% (Figure 1), because of broad-based revisions across the services sector. These revised estimates show that UK GDP is now 0.1% below its pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) levels.

The indicative monthly GDP path shows that GDP in December 2021 fell by 0.2%, with reports that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 impacted certain industries, retailing and hospitality in particular.

Annual GDP growth was marginally revised for both 2020 and 2021. Following the 9.3% fall in 2020, which reflected the initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and public health restrictions, there was a rebound in GDP, which saw an annual rise of 7.4% in 2021. This was the largest annual increase in GDP since the Second World War according to Bank of England estimates (XLSX, 28.4MB).

Nominal GDP rose by 3.0% in Quarter 4 2021, revised upwards from 1.5%. It is now a revised 5.9% above its Quarter 4 2019 levels.

The implied GDP deflator rose by 1.7% in Quarter 4 2021 (compared with Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2021), upwardly revised from a first quarterly estimate of 0.6%. The quarterly change primarily reflected a revised increase in the implied price of household consumption.

Compared with the same quarter a year ago, the implied GDP deflator rose by 1.7%, revised from 0.8%. This was mainly driven by the 4.4% increase in the implied price of household consumption. This deflator represents the broadest measure of inflation in the domestic economy, reflecting changes in the price of all goods and services that comprise GDP.

Figure 2 shows the latest nominal and real GDP estimates for a selection of developed economies up to the end of 2021. The United States, France and Canada are above their pre-coronavirus level of real GDP. Recent analysis highlights the challenges of making international comparisons of GDP at this time and suggests it may be useful to compare nominal and real estimates of GDP, as well as estimates excluding government expenditure.

More about economy, business and jobs

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3. Output

Output rose by 1.3% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021, revised up from a first quarterly estimate of 1.0%, reflecting broad-based revisions in the latest quarter. There was a quarterly increase in services and construction output, while production output fell in the latest quarter.

Services

There was a rise in services output of 1.5% in Quarter 4 2021, revised up from a first quarterly estimate of 1.2%. The upward revision was driven by improvements across a range of services sub-industries. Services output is now 0.9% above Quarter 4 2019 levels.

There was a marked increase in output for human health and social work activities (4.3%) in Quarter 4 2021 – more information is provided in Section 4: Expenditure. There was also strong growth of 4.3% across the professional, scientific and technical activities sector.

Growth in administration and support service activities (6.4%) was driven by high activity from employment agencies, travel agents and office administration. The quarterly increase in transport and storage (7.7%) was driven by increased retail activity during this period, because of stronger than usual Black Friday sales and online activity in the build-up to Christmas, leading to higher deliveries of goods. This was partially offset by falls in accommodation and food services (3.6%), which was adversely impacted by the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant towards the end of the quarter, and education (1.8%).

The revised estimates of services output over the course of 2020 and 2021 have left the cumulative industry-level impacts broadly unchanged (Figure 3). Other service activities, which includes personal services such as hairdressers, saw a marked upward revision. This revision was driven by the updated Value Added Tax (VAT) data up to Quarter 3 2021, the latest seasonal adjustment review and updated Monthly Business Survey (MBS) data in the latest quarter.

Figure 3: The services sector in Quarter 4 2021 is now a revised 0.9% above its pre-coronavirus level (Quarter 4 2019)

Percentage change, Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 to Quarter 4 2021

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Notes:

  1. Chart shows the percentage change in the services sector in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 compared with Quarter 4 2019.
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.xlsx

Production

Production output fell by 0.2% in Quarter 4 2021, despite seeing a slight upward revision from its first quarterly estimate. Production output is now a revised 3.0% below its pre-coronavirus levels (Figure 4).

The fall in production output in the latest quarter was driven by electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (3.8%) and mining and quarrying (5.3%). The fall in energy in Quarter 4 follows exceptionally high output levels in May 2021, mainly resulting from adverse weather conditions boosting demand for energy. The fall in mining and quarrying was driven by a fall in extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas, because of planned maintenance of oil fields throughout the year.

The 0.4% rise in manufacturing in Quarter 4 was largely driven by rises in the manufacture of basic pharmaceuticals. Anecdotal evidence in the October 2021 monthly gross domestic product (GDP) release found that businesses in some industries, including manufacturing of machinery and equipment, reported difficulties in sourcing supplies, which have led to them producing less output, despite seeing an increase in orders.

The revised estimates of the production sectors over the course of 2020 and 2021 are broadly unchanged (Figure 4). Water supply and sewerage (7.7% above) is the only production industry to have recovered above its pre-coronavirus levels, while mining and quarrying (16.3% below) and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (12.0% below) remain the furthest away from their Quarter 4 2019 levels. Manufacturing remains 1.5% below pre-coronavirus levels.

Figure 4: The production sector in Quarter 4 2021 is now a revised 3.0% below its pre-coronavirus level (Quarter 4 2019)

Percentage change, breakdown of the production sector, Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 to Quarter 4 2021

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Notes:

  1. Chart shows the percentage change in the production sector in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 compared with Quarter 4 2019.
Download the data

.xlsx

Construction

Construction output rose by 1.0% in Quarter 4 2021. Construction output saw revisions in all quarters except for the latest quarter, mainly because of updated seasonal adjustment parameters. VAT data were taken on for Quarter 3 2021 for the first time and had minimal impact, with Quarter 3 2021 revised down 0.1 percentage points to a fall of 1.5%. Construction output remains 1.8% below its pre-coronavirus levels.

More timelier estimates for construction output saw growth of 1.1% in January 2022, with anecdotal evidence suggesting the easing of sourcing construction product issues in the latter half of 2021. In addition, total new orders in the construction industry are at their highest level since Quarter 3 2017, recovering above their pre-coronavirus level, reflecting higher demand for all types of work across the industry.

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4. Expenditure

Expenditure rose by 1.3% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021. Private consumption is now 1.1% below its pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) level, while government expenditure is 8.6% above (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Private consumption is now a revised 1.1% below its pre-coronavirus level (Quarter 4 2019)

Percentage change, breakdown of the main expenditure components, Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 to Quarter 4 2021

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Notes:

  1. Chart shows the percentage change in expenditure components in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 compared with Quarter 4 2019.

  2. The chart for presentation purposes excludes changes in inventories and acquisitions less disposable of assets.

  3. Private consumption comprises households and non-profit institution serving households.

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.xlsx

Private consumption

Within private consumption, household expenditure rose by 0.5% in Quarter 4 2021, revised down from a first quarterly estimate of 1.2%, mainly because of downward revisions in transport spending.

The increase in household spending in the latest quarter was driven by rises in transport, net tourism, and clothing and footwear. This was partly offset by falls in spending on household goods and services, food and drink, and alcohol and tobacco.

Household consumption is now 1.0% below its pre-coronavirus levels. Figure 6 shows how spending on different categories compares with its pre-coronavirus levels. Spending on household goods and services is 12.7% higher, while transport spending is 15.6% below its pre-coronavirus levels. Household spending on restaurants and hotels has now recovered to above its pre-coronavirus level.

Consumption of government goods and services

Real government consumption increased by 1.5% in Quarter 4 2021, revised down from a first quarterly estimate of 1.9%. The rise in government spending in the latest quarter was driven by an increase in health spending of 4.6%, reflecting a rise in the NHS Test and Trace and COVID-19 vaccination programmes, including the booster programme.

Within the quarter, there was also strong non-COVID-19 health activity, with an increase in face-to-face appointments at GP surgeries and a continuation of the increased use of telephone consultations. Since Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has used data from the Appointments in General Practice bulletin, published by NHS Digital, to inform our estimates of primary care services. These data incorporate the full range of services offered by GP practices in England. Excluded from these numbers are any activity relating to GP surgery-based COVID-19 vaccinations; these are captured in the COVID-19 vaccination programme output estimates.

Education consumption fell by a revised 1.5% in Quarter 4 2021 and is 5.9% below its pre-coronavirus level. The fall in the latest quarter reflects a decrease in student attendance towards the end of Quarter 4.

In current price terms, government consumption was revised downwards in 2021 to 7.0%. This was partly driven by downward revision to health expenditure. There were also downward revisions to current price expenditure on public administration and defence in 2021.

Gross capital formation

Gross fixed capital formation increased by a revised 1.1% in Quarter 4 2021 and remains 1.9% below its pre-coronavirus levels. The rise in gross fixed capital formation in the latest quarter was driven by increased investment in transport equipment and dwellings.

The increase in capital expenditure on transport equipment in Quarter 4 reflects spending on vehicles as new licence plates were released; while the increase in dwellings investment partly reflects a rise in new housing orders following pent-up coronavirus demand. This was partly offset by falls in investment on other buildings and structures, and other machinery and equipment.

There was a rise of 1.0% in business investment in Quarter 4 2021, which is now 8.6% below pre-coronavirus levels, up from a first quarterly estimate of being 10.4% below. Similarly, a Bank of England survey reported that business investment was expected to have been 11% lower in Quarter 4 2021 than normal because of pandemic effects.

Excluding the alignment and balancing adjustments, inventories fell by £3.6 billion in Quarter 4 2021, revised from a first quarterly estimate rise in inventories.

Including balancing adjustments, inventories in real terms fell by £1.1 billion in Quarter 4 2021, whereas inventories in current prices saw an increase of £890 million, which reflects movements in oil and gas prices.

Note that alignment and balancing adjustments are typically applied to the inventories component to help balance the different approaches to gross domestic product (GDP). More detail can be found in Section 10: Measuring the data. Therefore, the unadjusted data can provide a better understanding of the change in the inventory position of businesses in the whole economy.

Net trade

The UK's trade deficit was 1.0% of GDP in Quarter 4 2021, a narrowing from the 2.8% deficit of nominal GDP in Quarter 3 2021. However, movements in non-monetary gold have been particularly volatile in recent quarters and excluding this, the UK trade deficit in Quarter 4 2021 is 1.7% of nominal GDP, an improvement from 2.3% in the previous quarter.

Revisions to trade estimates primarily reflect updated International Trade in Services Survey data.

Total export volumes rose by a revised 6.9% in Quarter 4 2021, from a first quarterly estimate of 4.9%. The increase was driven by a 9.6% increase in the exports of goods, particularly in unspecified goods, fuels, and chemicals. Service exports increased by 4.0% in Quarter 4 2021, revised from a fall of 1.8%. This quarterly increase reflected a rise in other business services, telecommunications, and intellectual property.

Total import volumes rose by a revised 0.3% in Quarter 4 2021, from a first quarterly estimate of a 1.5% fall. The increase in service imports of 1.1% in Quarter 4 2021 was driven by rises in other business services; and sea transport, partially offset by falls in intellectual properties, and air transport. Goods imports was broadly flat in the fourth quarter with rises in fuels, and chemicals that was offset by falls in unspecified goods, and crude materials.

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5. Income

Nominal gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 3.0% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021, revised from 1.5% in the first quarterly estimate. The rise in nominal GDP was driven by an increase in all the main components of income (Figure 7). Nominal GDP is now 5.9% above its pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.

Compensation of employees rose by a revised 1.1% in Quarter 4 2021. Growth in Quarter 4 2021 was driven by a revised 1.7% rise in wages and salaries. Revisions to public and private sector wages and salaries are because of updated survey and admin data. Employers' contributions fell by a revised 1.8% in Quarter 4 2021, driven by falls in redundancy payments.

Taxes less subsidies rose in Quarter 4 2021 by 7.8%, from an initial estimate of 4.1%.

There was a fall in subsidies in Quarter 4 2021, primarily driven by reduced payments through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and residual Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Taxes in Quarter 4 2021 fell, driven by reductions in Value Added Tax (VAT) receipts, Insurance Premium Tax and Fuel Duty.

Total gross operating surplus (GOS) rose by 6.7% in Quarter 4 2021. Excluding the alignment adjustment, GOS increased by 1.6% (Table 3). Note that alignment and balancing adjustments are typically applied to the GOS component to help balance the different approaches to GDP.

We previously referred to practical challenges in balancing GDP during the coronavirus pandemic. This in part reflects large government interventions in response to the pandemic in areas such as employment costs via the CJRS subsidy to businesses and the SEISS payment to the self-employed. These schemes, alongside various business grants, tax deferrals and the VAT rate cut for the hospitality sector, have all made the measurement of income more challenging across 2020 and 2021.

For these reasons, rather than forcing a GDP balance for income by adjusting the income components, we show the best estimate of each underlying component of income at this stage.

In doing so, this means that the alignment adjustment, used to align income to average GDP, is larger than normal in Quarter 3 2021 (Table 3). This both preserves the component level movements and shows the current level of challenge and uncertainty within the income approach to GDP. We will continue to review this over the coming quarters as and when more information becomes available, and when the quarters are open to revision.

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6. Revisions to GDP

The dataset is open to revision back to Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020 as part of this publication. The standard approach based on our National Accounts Revision Policy would have seen the Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 quarterly national accounts release only open to revision for one year (2021). However, in this publication we have also opened 2020 to allow for the processing of annual data for 2020 and 2021 so as to incorporate the latest available data.

We have also incorporated Value Added Tax (VAT) turnover data up to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2021, which estimates the output of small businesses for some industries in the output approach to GDP. VAT turnover has only been used to estimate growth rates, with the overall level of output still derived from the Annual Business Survey and other annual benchmark sources.

In addition to the annual benchmarks and integration of VAT turnover, there are also revisions in this release because of the replacement of forecasts with actual survey or external source data and new seasonal adjustment factors.

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7. Quarterly sector accounts

Non-financial account net lending and borrowing (seasonally adjusted)

In the non-financial account, the UK's borrowing position with the rest of the world was negative 1.3% as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021, UK borrowing decreasing from negative 5.1% of GDP in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2021 (Figure 8). This was driven by an increase in the amount of earnings on direct investment paid to the UK by the rest of the world. In addition, the UK's trade deficit narrowed to £6.2 billion, from a deficit of £16.5 billion in Quarter 3 2021, driven by increases in exports of both goods and services.

Households saw a decrease in their net lending position to 0.6% as a percentage of GDP in Quarter 4 2021, down from 1.7% of GDP in the previous quarter. This was driven by an increase in household spending of £6.9 billion, a 1.9% increase on Quarter 3 2021, following on from a 3.9% rise in spending in the previous quarter. Household spending increased on transport, net tourism, and housing and utilities. This was partially offset by a rise in wages and salaries of £4.2 billion, which itself was driven by earnings growth in the private sector.

General government decreased its net borrowing position to negative 5.1% as a percentage of GDP in Quarter 4 2021, from negative 6.6% of GDP in Quarter 3 2021. Within this, central government saw a fall in subsidies paid of £5.7 billion, as COVID support schemes continued to wind down. This was partially offset by a rise in central government final consumption expenditure of £2.3 billion, driven by increased spending on health.

Non-financial corporations increased their net lending position to 3.4% of GDP in Quarter 4 2021 from 0.3% of GDP in Quarter 3 2021. Within non-financial corporations, private non-financial corporations (PNFCs) increased their net property income by £13.1 billion, driven by decreased dividend payments of £11.6 billion. This was partially offset by a rise in gross capital formation of £3.5 billion.

Financial corporations increased their net lending position to 0.8% of GDP in Quarter 4 2021, from 0.4% of GDP in the previous quarter. This was driven by a fall in gross capital formation of £6.6 billion, itself driven by increased exports of valuables, mainly non-monetary gold, of £6.7 billion. This was partially offset by a fall in net property income of £2.6 billion.

The household saving ratio decreased to 6.8% in the latest quarter, from 7.5% in Quarter 3 2021 (Figure 9). Households’ gross disposable income grew by 1.3% on the previous quarter but households’ final consumption expenditure increased by 1.9% from the previous quarter, as spending on transport, net tourism, and housing and utilities rose. Real household disposable income fell by negative 0.1% this quarter, nominal households’ gross disposable income grew 1.3% but this was offset by quarterly household inflation of 1.4%.

Financial account net lending and borrowing (not seasonally adjusted)

Households decreased their net lending position by £9.0 billion on the quarter to £14.3 billion in Quarter 4 2021. This was driven by a fall in other accounts receivable of £10.3 billion. Households' net disposals of equity and investment fund shares also increased by £8.7 billion. This was partially offset by a £8.0 billion fall in the acquisition of loans.

General government decreased their net borrowing position by £3.8 billion to £37.6 billion and central government decreased their net borrowing position by £9.7 billion to £32.2 billion in Quarter 4 2021. This was driven by a fall in other accounts payable of £23.5 billion. This was partially offset by a decrease in net deposits of £8.5 billion.

Non-financial corporations switched to net borrowing of £3.3 billion in Quarter 4 2021, following a net lending position of £7.6 billion in the previous quarter. Private non-financial corporations (PNFCs), a subsector of non-financial corporations, switched to net borrowing of £4.1 billion in Quarter 4 2021, following a net lending position of £6.9 billion in Quarter 3 2021. PNFCs experienced a fall in other accounts receivable of £23.6 billion. This was partially offset by a £12.8 billion increase in deposits with UK monetary financial institutions.

Financial corporations switched to net lending of £13.9 billion in Quarter 4 2021, following net borrowing of £12.2 billion in Quarter 3 2021. This was driven by a £142.0 billion decrease in loan liabilities with the rest of world, partially offset by a £78.6 billion decrease in net deposits and a £51.4 billion increase in debt securities liabilities.

Quarterly sector accounts annex table

Significant government interventions affecting the non-financial account of the sector accounts from Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was implemented by the government to support employers maintaining their employees on the payroll

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is a grant scheme to support the self-employed with the intention of supporting their business operations and compensating for loss of income

  • Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund; two grants intended to help businesses with a fall in sales or increased costs as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The flow of these interventions through the UK's institutional sectors is shown in Table 5.

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8. GDP quarterly national accounts data

GDP – data tables
Dataset | Released 31 March 2022
Annual and quarterly data for UK gross domestic product (GDP) estimates, in chained volume measures and current market prices.

GDP in chained volume measures – real-time database (ABMI)
Dataset | Released 31 March 2022
Quarterly levels for UK gross domestic product (GDP) at current market prices.

GDP at current prices – real-time database (YBHA)
Dataset | Released 31 March 2022
Quarterly levels for UK gross domestic product (GDP) at current market prices.

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9. Glossary

Contribution to growth

Contribution to growth indicates how many percentage points a sector or industry is adding or removing from a given growth rate, usually headline GDP growth.

Chained volume measure

Data in chained volume measures (CVM) within this bulletin have had the effect of price changes removed (in other words, the data are deflated), except for income data, which are only available in current prices.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

A measure of the economic activity produced by a country or region. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is the main indicator of economic performance. There are three approaches used to measure GDP:

  • the output approaches
  • the expenditure approach
  • the income approach

Index numbers

Data relative to a given base value, which typically refers to a particular year or quarter.

For further definitions, please see the Glossary of economic terms.

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10. Measuring the data

Reaching the GDP balance

The different data content and quality of the three approaches – the output approach, the expenditure approach and the income approach – dictates the approach taken in balancing quarterly data. In the UK, there are more data available on output in the short-term than in either of the other two approaches. However, to obtain the best estimate of GDP (the published figure), the estimates from all three approaches are balanced to produce an average, except in the latest two quarters where the output data take the lead because of the larger data content.

Because of quarterly GDP being a balanced measure of the three approaches and the output approach focusing solely on growth in gross value added (GVA) and output as a proxy for GDP, there is a difference in 2020 and 2021 data (in both levels and growths terms) between the quarterly publications (average GDP) and the GDP monthly estimate (output approach to GDP). Quarterly GDP is the lead measure of GDP because of its higher data content and inclusion of variables, which enable the conversion from a GVA concept to a GDP basis.

Information on the methods we use for Balancing the output, income and expenditure approaches to measuring GDP is available.

Alignment adjustments, found in Table M of the GDP quarterly national accounts data tables, have a target limit of plus or minus £3,000 million on any quarter.

To achieve a balanced GDP dataset through alignment, balancing adjustments are applied to the components of GDP where data content is particularly weak in a given quarter because of a higher level of forecast content. The balancing adjustments applied in this estimate are shown in Table 6. The resulting series should be considered accordingly.

GDP monthly estimate

On 11 March 2022, estimates of Monthly GDP were published for January 2022. The Index of Services, Index of Production and Construction output in Great Britain publications covering January 2022 are also available.

This release sees revisions from Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020 to Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021. Although this release focuses on providing the best quarterly estimate of GDP, an indicative monthly path for the Quarter 1 2020 and Quarter 4 2021 is provided in the dataset.

A full breakdown of the monthly data consistent with this quarterly release will be available in the next monthly GDP release (on 11 April 2022).

Pre-coronavirus comparisons of quarterly GDP

We previously referred to the challenges of measuring GDP during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the different levels of uncertainty surrounding each measurement approach.

With downward revisions in the expenditure measure and upward revisions in the output measure in 2021, there is a difference between monthly and quarterly GDP measurements relative to the Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 pre-coronavirus level (Table 7).

This is further highlighted in Table C2 in the GDP quarterly national accounts data tables with the 2021 expenditure statistical discrepancy.

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11. Strengths and limitations

The UK National Accounts are drawn together using data from many different sources. This ensures that they are comprehensive and provide different perspectives on the economy, for example, sales by retailers and purchases by households. Further information on measuring gross domestic product (GDP) can be found in the Guide to the UK National Accounts and more quality and methodology information is available in the Gross domestic product (GDP) QMI.

Important quality information

There are common pitfalls in interpreting data series, and these include:

  • expectations of accuracy and reliability in early estimates are often too high

  • revisions are an inevitable consequence of the trade-off between timeliness and accuracy

  • early estimates are based on incomplete data

Very few statistical revisions arise as a result of "errors" in the popular sense of the word. All estimates, by definition, are subject to statistical "error".

Many different approaches can be used to summarise revisions; the "Accuracy and reliability" section in the Gross domestic product (GDP) QMI analyses the mean average revision and the mean absolute revision for GDP estimates over data publication iterations. 

GDP estimates for Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2021 are subject to more uncertainty than usual as a result of the challenges we faced estimating GDP in the current conditions. Differences in the methods for estimating the output of health and education services across different countries mean GDP may be less internationally comparable during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recovery than usual, so should be made with increased caution. For more information, please refer to our recently published blog on why has UK GDP fallen so sharply in the pandemic?

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Niamh McAuley
gdp@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633 455284