Dear Ed

Thank you for your letter.

We welcome your finding that our approach to revisions is appropriate and well managed and agree with your conclusion that the more extreme criticisms that ONS received were misplaced.

As you note, there are already a number of good features of ONS’s approach to revisions. We are always clear that our headline figures are estimates, but we will redouble our efforts to communicate additional uncertainty in our data, where they exist. Further improvements in this regard will be made to the upcoming quarterly GDP releases over the next six months.

We also welcome your findings on both estimating changes in the costs facing businesses and also improving the quality of the income and expenditure measures of GDP – including household income and spending – within early estimates of GDP. ONS has already started work looking into these areas and will set out plans more fully during January 2024.

Yours sincerely
Mike Keoghan