Economy

Trading places: How ONS measures cross-border services

ONS has embarked on an ambitious development programme to make sure we have the best possible data on the flow of imports and exports. While measuring trade in goods is relatively straightforward, tracking services is rather trickier. Here Sami Hamroush writes about the challenge of measuring so-called ‘modes of supply’ – the means by which services are exchanged across borders – and how this can reveal a sharper picture of the UK’s trade position.

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Revealing income inequalities: New data sources shed new light on key policy challenge.

High levels of income inequality have been associated with lower economic growth, poor social cohesion and limited social mobility.  But the most effective policy responses need to be informed by the best data. Here Richard Tonkin discusses how the ONS is upgrading its household income statistics to make them more accurate, relevant and accessible than ever before.

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Transforming how we report employment – why four is better than one

Making ONS statistics more accessible is a key part of the ‘Better Statistics, Better Decisions’ strategy.  With the ups and downs of the job market closely followed by experts and non-specialists alike, our reporting of employment statistics is changing to make the information easier to find and the main stories stand out.  David Freeman reveals how. 

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Shopping Around for Retail Data? How ONS keeps tabs on a fast-changing sector

Evolving shopping habits are keeping UK retailers on their toes, forcing many to adapt to survive.  The rise of online sales and the disappearance of some big names from UK high streets have also challenged ONS to maintain the accuracy and relevance of the Retail Sales Index.  As Rhian Murphy explains,  the breadth of its coverage means the RSI remains a leading indicator – not just of retailing but of the economy as a whole.

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