Dear Rachel

Alternative Release Time for the Productivity Overview Statistics

Thank you for alerting me to the postponement of the release of the Productivity Overview bulletin, which was scheduled for 1 February 2024, and to your proposal to release these statistics as part of a combined bulletin with the UK Productivity Flash estimate, scheduled for release at 7am on 15 February 2024.

We support the decision made by ONS to publish a combined release of the Productivity Flash estimates and the Productivity Overview and the decision to publish this at 7am. We appreciate the flash statistics will also be released alongside the First Quarterly GDP estimate which are themselves important statistics, used in the compilation of productivity estimates. Releasing the productivity flash estimates alongside the GDP estimates make a coherent release, but one that is market sensitive. Your proposed approach will ensure orderly release and equal access to information. We consider this decision to be in the public and wider user interest.

We recognise these are exceptional circumstances caused by issues affecting the Labour Force Survey, which is an important data source used to produce productivity statistics.

Please ensure that the reasons for the combined productivity release and the alternative release time, along with its content and how this differs from previous releases, are clearly outlined.

Yours sincerely


Ed Humpherson