Friday, May 10, 2013

ONS Screw Up Again

In September 2012 I wrote the following about the unreliability of ONS data:
"As I have noted many times before it is extremely unwise to rely on figures provided by the ONS, they are always out of date and invariably wrong; eg in February this year inflation figures spiked partly because the ONS (as per usual) had been erroneously under reporting inflation (clothing) for several years, and the resulting correction caused a spike in inflation.

Instead of the government and the Bank of England relying on and using ONS figures to to try to manage the economy, they may as well rely on reading goat entrails as these would be more accurate, timely and easier to interpret!
Here we are in May 2013, and yet again the ONS have been forced to revise their figures. It seems that Q1 construction figures reported by the ONS were wrong, and need to be revised upwards. As such the UK was not in recession in Q1 2013.

As per the Telegraph:
"The ONS now believes that output in the quarter contracted by 5pc, not the 5.4pc previously thought. In terms of levels of GDP, it has revised construction output for the quarter up by £108m to £25.273bn. 

Philip Shaw, UK economist at Investec, has calculated that an increase of just £70m in national output in the first three months of 2012 would cause growth to be revised from -0.1pc to 0.0pc.
All else being equal, the construction industry revisions would suggest that the economy did deliver just enough activity to escape the technical double dip recession."
As I noted above, it is extremely unwise to rely on figures provided by the ONS!