ONS will begin the introduction of its new economic "theme days" this week, which will ensure that related economic statistics are released together. This will allow ONS to present a more coherent and consistent picture of UK economic activity, thereby better supporting public discussion about the UK economy.

A review of the previous publishing model concluded that in order to present statistics in a more joined-up and consistent way it would be beneficial to revise the approach of publishing a number of free-standing statistical bulletins, each dealing with a newly released statistic and with different datasets sometimes released simultaneously.

Revised publication schedule

The order of theme days within each month, and the outputs that will be published on each theme day, are set out in the following table. The publication dates for January have been included as an example.

Release dates in January Name Data included
06 January 2017 Productivity (Quarterly) Labour and public service productivity including regional measures.
11 January 2017 Short term indicators1 Construction, Production, Trade
17 January 2017 Prices CPI, PPI, SPPI2, HPI, rental prices
18 January 2017 Labour market Unemployment, claimant count, wages
20 January 2017 Retail Sales Retail Sales
24 January 2017 Public Sector Finances Public Sector Finances
26 January 2017 National Accounts Usual estimates on the current timetable including, depending on the month in the cycle,
Services and Balance of Payments
Source: Office for National Statistics
1. "Retail Sales" publishes data a month quicker than the other short term indicators and will continue to be published to this schedule so is not a theme day as such but included here for completeness. It will, however, be covered, if appropriate, in the overarching economic commentary that will accompany the Short-term indicator theme day.
2. Will become part of the Prices theme day from May 2017

Impact on key outputs

For the most part the result of this will be for certain statistics to be published earlier than at present, for example:

  • Construction Output will be brought forward by between one and seven days

  • Service Producer Prices Index will be brought forward by around two weeks

  • UK Trade will either be unchanged or brought forward or delayed by a day

Economic Context

A further improvement being introduced is that a short article will be published on the Short term indicators, Prices, Labour Market and National Account theme days. These articles will provide an overarching economic context, drawing together all the data being published on that day. The article published on the "National Accounts" day will review and tie together all the data published for the most recent month.

Index of Services

ONS is currently undertaking work to assess whether the Index of Services can be brought forward to be published alongside the other short-term indicators. ONS plans to announce if this will be possible in April 2017.


If you have any questions or comments please contact:

Media Contact

Luke Croydon
020 7592 8635

Statistical Contact

Darren Morgan
01633 455 666