Consultation on balanced estimates of regional GVA

Closed 30 Sep 2017

Opened 25 Aug 2017

Feedback updated 9 Oct 2017

We asked

We asked for people’s views on our new experimental balanced measure of regional gross value added (GVA). This new development is designed to provide a single best estimate of regional GVA, combining the best parts of the existing income and production measures.

We wanted to be sure that users of regional GVA statistics welcomed the single measure, and to identify any concerns that people have with the methods, test results and our proposed presentation of the statistics in future publications.

You said

We received 23 written responses from a wide range of people representing central, local and devolved government, private companies and think tanks, universities and schools. In addition, we met with many other stakeholders to present our consultation and listen to their views, at events held in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. The main feedback was:

  • Respondents strongly supported the introduction of a single balanced measure of regional GVA, and some requested that we continue to publish the pre-balanced income and production measures, at least for the first few years.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with the method we have used, and some offered suggestions for potential enhancements to the methodology.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with the test results, and some offered suggestions for parts that could benefit from further attention.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with our plans for the presentation of the data, and some offered suggestions for additional supporting information.

We did

We intend to:

  • Publish the first experimental balanced estimates of regional GVA on or around 13 December 2017.
  • Publish the pre-balanced income and production estimates alongside the balanced estimates, at least while the balanced estimates remain experimental statistics.
  • Publish nominal and real estimates of balanced GVA for 80 industries at the NUTS1 level, and 71 industries at the NUTS2 level.
  • Publish real estimates of balanced regional GVA one year earlier than before.
  • Publish the existing set of income components at all geographic levels from NUTS1 down to local authority district, consistent with the balanced GVA estimates.
  • Consider the various suggestions made by respondents, with a view to introducing further improvements in future publications, as resources permit.

Results updated 9 Oct 2017



Gross value added (GVA), the amount by which the economy grows due to the production of goods and services, can be measured using three different approaches, known as the income approach, the output (or production) approach, and the expenditure approach. In the UK Regional Accounts we currently measure regional GVA using both the income and production approaches. We don’t use the expenditure approach because it includes the imports and exports of goods and services, which are difficult to measure between regions.

Using two different methods to estimate regional GVA gives us two different answers to the question of what is GVA in any given region, which can cause some confusion as people lack any clear basis for choosing between the two. We have therefore developed a ‘balancing process’ to take the strongest parts of both existing measures and use them to create a single balanced estimate of regional GVA, which represents our best estimate of the true value of GVA in any region.

The method we have used is ground-breaking. To the best of our knowledge nobody has ever done this before, using weighted quality metrics to inform an automated balancing process. The improvement in the reliability and stability of regional GVA estimates underpins an expansion in the level of industrial detail for which we can provide estimates, and as a by-product of this development we have also improved by one year the timeliness of our provision of ‘real’ GVA indices with the effect of price inflation removed.

Why your views matter

This development uses a new process that has never been used before. While we believe it to be a good method, we want to give others the opportunity to give us feedback on the method and its results. In this way we hope to learn about people’s concerns so that we can guide our development effort to addressing any issues people raise. We produce these statistics to meet user needs, and this is a way we can identify how well those needs are being met.

Below you will find an article describing the method we have used and outlining our current plans for what we intend to publish from December 2017. You can also find some files containing the test results obtained from running the balancing process on last year’s GVA income and production estimates. Please read the article and take a look at the test results before completing the online survey.

The feedback we receive will be used to inform the decisions we take about what we publish in December and the priorities of our future development programme. We will publish a response to this consultation in October to let people know what we intend to do.

Thank you for your help.

What happens next

Thank you for contributing your views to this consultation. We will publish a response by the end of October 2017 summarising the feedback received and outlining our plans for publication in December 2017.


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