Exports of services have for many decades made a large and positive contribution to the UK’s international trade balance. But unlike goods, which are relatively easy to count and value, the intangibility of services means their measurement has been less detailed. Now, thanks to a big expansion in our statistical coverage, ONS is shedding unprecedented new light on the subject.Read more
Productivity has been a topic of great interest in recent years, especially because of the well-known ‘productivity puzzle’ – the historically weak productivity growth in the UK since the economic downturn in 2008.
But if that is a puzzle, here is another one – how do you measure the productivity of public services, like education or healthcare, when they are provided for free? Since 2005, ONS has developed suitable measures for over half of public services, but there is still much to do. In this blog Josh Martin explains how the ONS measures the productivity of public services.Read more
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.Read more
It’s that time of year when the ONS updates its famous ‘Basket of Goods and Services’. This time around there’s some notable additions and removals, which once again help to underline changing consumer purchasing behaviour.Read more
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.Read more