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National Income

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the Exchequer of calculating the UK's gross domestic product. (220692)

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 1 September 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question concerning the annual cost to the Exchequer of calculating the UK's Gross Domestic Product. (220692)

GDP is just one output of the process to compile UK National Accounts, and is based on a large number of data sources. It is compiled according to three approaches—the production, income and expenditure measures—each of which uses different methods and sources. The three approaches are balanced, so that a single estimate of GDP is published in both cash (current prices) and real (constant prices) terms. It is difficult, therefore, to estimate the cost of producing GDP figures alone, but, including the cost of its component sources, we estimate that GDP costs ONS around £10 million to produce.

Details of the full ONS operating costs are available in our annual report.