Consultation on regional household expenditure measures

Closed 31 Dec 2018

Opened 13 Nov 2018

Feedback updated 4 Mar 2019

We asked

We asked for people’s views on our experimental estimates of regional household expenditure for the NUTS1 countries and regions of the UK. This is the first time that regional estimates of household spending have been available for all UK regions in a form that is consistent with the UK National Accounts.

We wanted to confirm that there is demand for these estimates, and gauge what level of geographic breakdown users are interested in. We also looked to identify any concerns people have with our data sources and methods, and to confirm that the variables and level of commodity data provided are suitable for user needs.

You said

We received 14 responses from a variety of organisations, including local and devolved governments and an academic institution, as well as from individuals.

Overall, respondents were supportive of further development in regional household expenditure estimates. For our experimental data, the responses indicated that the level of commodity detail and the variables presented broadly meet user needs. The majority of respondents were interested in having data at country, NUTS1, and NUTS2 levels, and all were interested in having Local Authority level data. We also received suggestions for potential improvements to data sources and methodology.

We did

Our plans moving forward:

  • We will publish revised regional household expenditure statistics for the NUTS1 countries and regions of the UK in summer 2019, as experimental statistics
  • While developing this output, we will take into account the feedback obtained in this consultation
  • We will investigate the alternative data sources suggested, along with the potential use of administrative data
  • We will continue to consult with users and other stakeholders as we progress with improvements to our estimates
  • Dependent on the success of the above, we will look to develop further geographic breakdowns starting with NUTS2 data
  • We will not attempt to produce Local Authority level estimates until we have secured data of sufficient quality and coverage to provide reliable estimates at that level

Results updated 4 Mar 2019



We have developed experimental regional estimates of household spending across the whole UK for the first time, aimed at showing users what is possible. At a regional level, we currently measure the income and outgoings of households only as far as gross disposable household income (GDHI). That measures the primary income components, such as wages and salaries and property income, and the secondary distribution of income, such as the effect of taxes on income and social benefits. GDHI is a measure of the amount of money people in households have available for spending or saving.

Regional household expenditure takes this to the next stage by measuring how much money people in households spend on each of a range of commodities. Once all spending is accounted for, we are left with a measure of saving. There are many user needs that can be met through this development, including:

  • information on the spending habits of householders, allowing better planning of facilities and infrastructure by local government;
  • improved investment planning by businesses providing goods and services;
  • derivation of net spending flows between regions of the UK (a valuable component of inter-regional trade); and
  • derivation of the saving ratio for subnational areas (a useful indicator of prosperity).

We have recently published an article describing the development of these new experimental statistics, with a set of provisional results for the countries and regions of the UK.

Why your views matter

The article describes what we have done to develop these new measures, using the data currently available to us. It notes various issues that we have encountered, what we have done so far to resolve them, and some of the possibilities for the future. But this is just the first step on the journey.

Now we need your help. Our aim is to meet user needs as far as possible, within the limitations of the data available to us. But for that we need to know more about those user needs. We ask that you read the article and take a look at the provisional results we have produced, then consider what you need and how well these statistics provide that. Please complete the online survey and tell us what we need to do, or do better, to fully meet your needs.

Once we have gathered all your views, we will use the information provided to make decisions on the data and methods we use, the level of commodity detail we should provide, the length of time series and the levels of geography for which we provide data.

What happens next

Thank you for contributing your views to this consultation. We will publish a response by the end of January 2019 summarising the feedback received and outlining our plans for the next publication of these experimental statistics and our priorities for future development.


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