Measuring activity in services sectors

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Overview

This project will investigate the deficiencies in the current measures of services activities for the UK and how might they be improved.

Lead: Mary O’Mahony (King’s)

Co-Leads: Sylaja Srinivasan (NIESR, Bank of England), Augustin de Coulon (King’s) and Martin Weale (King’s)

Expected end date: Q4 2018/2019

Objectives: The Bean Review highlighted the need for better measures of services activities given their increasing importance as a share of value added and employment. Also much of the increased productivity growth associated with the information technology revolution occurred in services sectors. Although there have been significant improvements in measuring service sector activity, both conceptually and practically, there is no doubt that much more effort is required.

This project will investigate the deficiencies in the current measures of services activities for the UK and how might they be improved. Specifically this project will:

  1. Define and value the activities provided by the services sector in measuring nominal output
  2. Identify the most appropriate deflators to use to construct real output measures and how these might be adjusted for quality change
  3. Identify additional measures that can be used in measuring real output, such as volumes of activity, in the public sector and how these might be adjusted for quality
  4. Identify which sources of data might be employed to estimate outputs and prices in the services sectors

Project code: 2.1

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