NIESR Monthly GDP Tracker - GDP Growth Surprises at 0.2 per cent in Q2
11 August 2023
Figure 4 – UK GDP growth (3 months on previous 3 months, per cent) Figure 5 shows a heat map of the data surprises across sectors in the monthly data, relative to last month’s GDP Tracker, highlighting the sectors where the surprises are large relative to the volatility of the output data. [...] Our first estimate of growth for any particular quarter starts in the first month of that quarter and is then updated each month until the first official release in the second month of the following quarter. [...] So, for example, our first estimate of growth in the first quarter of 2020 was published in January and then updated four times (in February, March, April, and May) before the ONS published its first estimate for the first quarter of 2020 in May 2020. [...] To check how our methodology would work in real time we went back to late 2016 to produce judgement-free forecasts of GDP growth in future months based on the monthly data series available for the components in November 2016 (this was the earliest vintage then available on the ONS website) and in each subsequent three months. [...] The largest error was for the second quarter of 2020 when our GDP tracker in May pointed to growth of - 22.8 per cent, 2.4 percentage points lower than the ONS first estimate of GDP growth.