Statistics

A voice for UK businesses – a milestone for our business insights survey

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Back in March 2020, life changed very suddenly as COVID-19 struck. In the first days of lockdown the ONS set up what it thought would be a temporary rapid business survey to assess how the pandemic was impacting UK businesses. Gemma Rabaiotti explains how four years and 100 waves of responses later, the Business Impact of Coronavirus survey– now renamed the Business Insights and Conditions survey – (BICS) has cemented its place as a timely and vital voice on the challenges facing businesses today.

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What is GDP and how do we measure it?

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Gross Domestic Product, more commonly known as GDP, remains the world’s most closely-watched economic indicator. Its growth – or lack of it – is used to measure economic progress. A positive GDP reading suggests an economy is growing, a negative one that it’s slowing down. But there is much more to GDP that just one number. In this post Craig McLaren is our guide to how GDP is calculated and how it’s best understood.  

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A Wealth of data: transforming ONS statistics on income, spending and wealth

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The ONS produces a range of statistics showing the income, spending and wealth of British households, together forming an important part of the overall picture of the economy. These statistics are a vital source of information for understanding people’s financial wellbeing including the effects from the rising cost of living. Adrian Chesson talks about the consultation launched today on our plans to transform these key statistics.  

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The importance of ethics and privacy in producing statistics for the public good

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At a time of exponential growth in data of all kinds, the potential for data science to improve public services and achieve better health outcomes has never been greater. But we also have a responsibility to ensure that those data are used ethically and protect individual privacy. Starting with the UK parliament’s objective for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to produce and publish statistics for the public good, the latest episode of ‘Statistically Speaking’ explores how this is being delivered in practice, while looking at the safeguards in place to protect personal data, and the public’s changing perception of acceptable data use.

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