Analysts Raise Doubts Over UK Economic Data

01 October 2004

Some UK economic analysts have raised eyebrows at the revisions recently made to Britain's official economic data.

The Office for National Statistics' latest figures show the economy to have grown by 0.9% in the second quarter, with manufacturing moving at its fastest pace for five years.

Annual growth has been revised down by 0.1% to 3.6% but the biggest criticism has been levelled at revision of figures for consumer and government spending.

Says Ross Walker of the Royal Bank of Scotland : "It has only been a month since we had the previous estimate, and now figures such as 1.1% household consumption growth have been revised to 0.6%. It doesn't inspire confidence when you are getting revisions on this scale."

The ONS is meeting with the Bank of England to discuss revision of data ahead of next month's crucial interest rate meeting.

The rate of growth in the second quarter may be as good as it gets, say analysts, citing cooling house prices and lower consumer spending as indicators of future performance.

Data sourced from The Telegraph (UK); additional content by WARC staff