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Domestic users and uses

Regional gross value added (GVA)

Regional gross value added (GVA) data provide an overview of economic performance at regional (NUTS1), sub-regional (NUTS2) and local area (NUTS3) levels, comparison between the countries and regions of the UK. They provide information about regional economic diversity and the relative importance of different industries to regional economies.

Historically we have produced estimates of regional gross value added (GVA) using the income approach (as National Statistics) and the production approach (as Experimental Statistics). From 20 December 2017, we have taken the strengths from both approaches and used them to produce a new balanced measure of regional GVA, GVA(B). This will give users a single measure of economic activity within a region, therefore avoiding any confusion from having two different estimates of the same thing. 

During summer 2017, a public consultation was conducted regarding the development of a balanced measure of GVA. The consultation documents, along with our response have been published. Details on the methodology used to produce GVA(B) are included in the paper Development of a balanced measure of regional gross value added.

As a result, individual bulletins for gross value added income (GVA(I)), and gross value added production (GVA(P)) have been discontinued. However, we are continuing to produce and publish the individual datasets for GVA(I) and GVA(P) to allow users access to the data in their unbalanced form.

The latest balanced regional GVA estimates were published on 20 December 2017.

Estimates of GVA are used by the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to formulate and monitor economic policy and allocate resources:

  • the devolved administrations use regional GVA data in the production of economic statistics for their countries; the data are also used for monitoring the relative economic performance of countries and regions over time
  • central UK government departments use regional and sub-regional GVA estimates in monitoring regional economic performance
  • local authorities use these statistics to facilitate evidence-based policy making and economic intervention, for example assisting Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) applications and regional growth funding bids; these figures also provide local authorities with a context for their economic strategies and lobbying activities
  • the House of Commons Library produces a standard note about these statistics and they are frequently the subject of parliamentary questions raised by Members of Parliament
  • these statistics inform the general public about the state of the economy and provide insight into the relative economic positions of local areas and issues

Regional gross disposable household income (GDHI)

Estimates of regional gross disposable household income (GDHI) provide an overview of economic diversity and social welfare at regional, sub-regional and local area levels. They supply information about the availability of disposable income throughout the UK. Disposable income is a concept which can be used to approximate the “material welfare” within the household sector, although the term “welfare” is commonly used in ways that go beyond financial wealth and, as such, cannot be measured by a single statistic.

Estimates of regional GDHI are also used by the UK government and the devolved administrations:

  • the devolved administrations use regional GDHI data in conjunction with other economic measures and surveys to give an overall picture of the economy
  • local authorities use these statistics to facilitate evidence-based policy-making
  • they are used in the House of Commons library to answer enquiries from MPs about regional differences in the income of households
  • these statistics also inform the general public and provide insight into the relative socio-economic picture of the UK

The ONS Regional Accounts team also receives general enquiries relating to these estimates from a diverse range of bodies including the Bank of England, other government departments, local authorities, business analysts, consultancy firms, financial institutions, economists, academics and the media (local and national).

European Union use

The production of regional gross value added (GVA) is a legal requirement under the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA2010). The sub-regional estimates are used to inform European Union (EU) structural funding decisions. More information can be found in section 2.6.2 and 3.6 of the regional accounts methodology guide.

The production of regional disposable income of households is also a legal requirement under ESA2010. Whereas gross disposable household income is compiled for UK domestic use, net disposable household income (NDHI) estimates are provided to Eurostat, which are net of consumption of fixed capital (CFC). The EU uses these NDHI estimates to inform regional policy and analysis, and to identify disparities in regional welfare across the member states. More information can be found in section 4.7.2 of the regional accounts methodology guide.

Although domestic publication of regional gross fixed capital formation is suspended due to concerns regarding the quality and lack of suitable data sources, it remains a legal requirement under ESA2010. More information can be found in section 5.5 of the regional accounts methodology guide.

User engagement

Regional Accounts keep users up-to-date with recent publications and developments via StatsUserNet and Knowledge Hub. StatsUserNet is the Royal Statistical Society’s interactive forum for users of official statistics. Topics relating to Regional Accounts outputs can be found in the Sub-National Statistics community. Knowledge Hub is the UK's largest platform for public service collaboration. Topics relating to Regional Accounts outputs can be found in the Regional and Local Statistics group.

Regional accounts hold a biannual government user group. The purpose of this group is to liaise with key users about UK regional accounts publications and methodological changes to UK regional accounts outputs; to inform key users about issues and developments affecting UK regional accounts outputs; and to provide the opportunity for users t contribute and influence the choices and priorities for UK regional accounts developments. If you would like more information about this government user group please contact regionalaccounts@ons.gov.uk.

Regional Accounts welcome any comments, questions or feedback. These can be emailed to regionalaccounts@ons.gov.uk or via telephone on +44 (0)1633 456878.

Regional accounts development

The UK regional accounts have a number of ongoing developments. The article ‘Supporting devolution: developments in regional and local statistics’ presents a brief summary of the main developments that we are working on over the next few years to provide a solid information base for regional and local decision-making in this new era of devolved policy-making.

Some of the first outputs of these projects, GVA for local authorities and GDHI for local authorities, are available on our website. A study considering ‘The feasibility of producing regional household final consumption expenditure, UK: 2016’ has also been published.

User consultations

Prior to making any major methodological changes to regional accounts outputs, a user consultation is issued.

The following list provides links to previous user consultations: