National Accounts

National Accounts

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National Accounts – Overview

This section contains historical national accounts data stretching back to 1086.  The main sources for the historical data are the Broadberry, Campbell, Klein, Overton and van Leeuwen (2015), study of British Economic Growth, 1270-1870 and the Studies in National Income and Expenditure of the United Kingdom series by the Department of Applied Economics in Cambridge, particularly the contributions of Feinstein (1972) and Sefton and Weale (1995) who produce complete set of accounts for the period 1855-1965 and 1920-1990 respectively.  This is supplemented by official national accounts data from 1948 from ONS under various systems of accounts.   Section III of the Bank of England’s Millennium Dataset produces continuous historical time series from these different sources using particular assumptions.  This is backed up by various digitised documentation on sources and methods and the complete set of Blue Books going back to 1941.

Historical UK National Accounts 1086 to the present - Academic datasets

The first four datasets here represent estimates of British and UK National accounts data back to 1270 based on academic research and have been made available with the kind permission of the authors, the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Press:

The Bank of England's Millennium of Data Spreadsheet combines these and other estimates to create continuous national accounts series up to the present.  Please note that some of Professor Feinstein's (1972) estimates for the income side of the accounts were updated by him in later work as discussed in Feinstein Fulfilled: Updated Estimates of UK GDP 1841-1920 (ESCoE TR-04). The Millennium dataset also includes a benchmark estimate for 1086 derived from the Domesday Book based on the work of Professor James Walker at the Henley Business School, University of Reading:

Official Historical National Accounts Data - The pre-ESA95 National Accounts 1948-1997

Historical official national accounts data for the UK between 1948 and 1997, based on the earlier system of accounts preceding the introduction of the ESA95 standard in 1998, has been reconstructed on behalf of the ONS by Anne Harrison, editor of the 2008 System of National Accounts, the international standard on which the ESA is based. This file covers the summary national accounts and the sector accounts as they appeared annually in the Blue Books and on a quarterly basis in Economic Trends and, from 1992, in the United Kingdom Economic Accounts (UKEA). The data throughout are consistent with the last quarterly accounts published before Blue Book 1998 was introduced. So they include data up to 1998Q1 and are consistent with the classifications and definitions in Blue Book 1997. They represent the official national accounts as they were known and understood at that time. The international guidelines on the compilation of national accounts were revised in 1993 and were implemented from 1998 onwards. At this time the ONS changed their methodologies to adopt more rigorously the European version of the international guidelines (ESA). The data first produced under the new systems covered a period from 1987 to 1997 and although the initial intention was to back-fill the historical data prior to 1986, resources did not permit doing this for more than a handful of series. This exercise, therefore, is a step towards completing that objective by initially reconstructing the data as they existed prior to 1998 so that a comprehensive linking process can be attempted. A further exercise, linking the data in this file to that in Feinstein's (1972) dataset and the latest set of ONS national accounts from 1987 to the present is underway. That will facilitate a more consistent and coherent set of joined-up accounts for the post-WW2 period than currently is available in the Bank's Millennium dataset. A sibling dataset covers the balance of payments that appeared in the Pink Book at the same point in time and is available in the Overseas Trade and the Balance of Payments section.

Vintage or Real-time databases

Bank of England
The Bank of England's vintage database contains monthly vintages of National Accounts data published since January 1990. Each vintage shows the data available on the last working day of the month. For a subset of the real expenditure variables, a longer history of quarterly vintages is also available.  The database is available in Microsoft Excel format. It is updated every year following the publication of the ONS Blue Book. It was last updated in November 2016.
The 'read me' workbook details the available dataset. The data themselves can be found in the other workbooks. They all contain a 'menu' worksheet that lists the data available therein. Other worksheets contain successive vintages of data for individual series. Each vintage is a separate column, with the oldest vintage of data on the far left and the most recent vintage on the far right. At the top of each column is the publication date (i.e. the month in which that vintage was published).

Measuring Worth
Professor Sam Williamson at the Measuring Worth site has collected vintages of official United Kingdom GDP numbers, published annually since 1953 and quarterly since 1961. This is joint work with Enrico Berkes. The annual vintage dataset consists of 56 spreadsheets, one for each year starting in 1953 and then every year since 1959. They each present nominal GDP, real GDP, population, unemployed, real GDP per capita, nominal GDP per capita, and the implied deflator. Most of the series start in 1948 and go up to the year previous to when they are published.

Feinstein (1972) - National Income, Output and Expenditure of the UK 1855-1965, Sources and Methods

The following chapters from Feinstein's work on National Income over the period 1855-1965 discuss the sources and methods used in the construction of the estimates in the spreadsheet in the datasets section. Permission to reproduce these has kindly been granted by the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge and Professor Feinstein's family.

Some of Professor Feinstein's (1972) estimates for various components of the National Accounts were updated by him in later work. These are discussed in Feinstein Fulfilled: Updated Estimates of UK GDP 1841-1920 (ESCoE TR-04) by Solomos Solomou and Ryland Thomas.

Official sources and methods guides to the National Accounts

The complete set of volumes covering the sources and methods used in constructing the UK National Accounts since WW2 are available below:

Important changes to the National Accounts since 2011 are documented in a series of methodology articles available on the National Archives. Many of these cover the transition from ESA95 to ESA10. A timeline of UK national accounts developments and Blue Book revision windows put together by Steve Drew at ONS is provided below:
The following titles are available to select in the dropdown menus of this section.

  • Annual National Income and Expenditure estimates for the UK ("Blue Books") from 1941
  • Quarterly UK Economic Accounts (UKEA) from 1992
Please select a publication title and year from the boxes below to narrow down the list. Alternatively type in a general search term. The available excel and pdf files are shown in the table. If the publication you are looking for is not in this section please see the complete list of downloadable publications

Excel files for certain Blue Books have kindly been provided by ONS from archived data in legacy systems. They have been provided on a best endeavours basis to enable users to obtain a series from a particular Blue Book vintage and are organised by series code (CDIDs). These have undergone simple checks against the published Blue Books but they need to be used with care. They contain backdata for many series which did not appear in the published Blue Book which typically would only involve a backrun of around 10 years for most series. Backdata in the files before this point may not have been subject to appropriate checks for methodological or classification discontinuities and accounting constraints. So users should be alert to potential series breaks. Where there is a discrepancy between a series in the excel file and the published Blue Book pdf file, the data in the published Blue Book should be taken to be the correct value. See Martin (2007) for a discussion of identified issues with historic Blue Book datasets after the introduction of ESA95 in 1998 and documentation of series which may contain errors.

For UK Economic Accounts 1998Q1 the consistent set of historical annual and quarterly national accounts data reconstructed by Anne Harrison, based on the pre-ESA95 system of accounts and discussed in the Datasets section, is the linked Excel file for this periodical.

Select Publication or Input Search Term

Article Name Excel File PDF File
UK National Accounts 1941 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1942 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1943 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1944 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1945 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1946 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1947 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1948 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1949 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1950 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1951 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1952 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1953 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1954 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1955 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1956 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1957 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1958 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1959 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1960 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1961 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1962 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1963 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1964 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1965 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1966 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1967 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1968 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1969 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1970 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1971 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1972 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1973 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1974 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1975 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1976 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1977 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1978 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1979 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1980 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1981 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1982 No Excel File
UK National Accounts 1983 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1984 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1985 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1986 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1987 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1988 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1989 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1990 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1991 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1992 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 1, Q4 1992 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1993 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 2, Q1 1993 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 3, Q2 1993 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 4, Q3 1993 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 5, Q4 1993 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1994 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 6, Q1 1994 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 7, Q2 1994 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 8, Q3 1994 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 9, Q4 1994 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1995 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 10, Q1 1995 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 11, Q2 1995 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 12, Q3 1995 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 13, Q4 1995 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1996 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 14, Q1 1996 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 15, Q2 1996 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 16, Q3 1996 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 17, Q4 1996 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1997
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 18, Q1 1997 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 19, Q2 1997 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 20, Q3 1997 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 21, Q4 1997 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1998
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 22, Q1 1998
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 23, Q2 1998 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 24, Q3 1998 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 25, Q4 1998 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 1999 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 26, Q1 1999 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 27, Q2 1999 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 28, Q3 1999 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 29, Q4 1999 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2000 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 30, Q1 2000 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 31, Q2 2000 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 32, Q3 2000 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 33, Q4 2000 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2001 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 34, Q1 2001 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 35, Q2 2001 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 36, Q3 2001 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 37, Q4 2001 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2002 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 38, Q1 2002 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 39, Q2 2002 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 40, Q3 2002 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 41, Q4 2002 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2003 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 42, Q1 2003 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 43, Q2 2003 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 44, Q3 2003 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 45, Q4 2003 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2004
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 46, Q1 2004 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 47, Q2 2004 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 48, Q3 2004 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 49, Q4 2004 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2005
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 50, Q1 2005 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 51, Q2 2005 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 52, Q3 2005 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 53, Q4 2005 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2006
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 54, Q1 2006 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 55, Q2 2006 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 56, Q3 2006 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 57, Q4 2006 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2007
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 58, Q1 2007 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 59, Q2 2007 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 60, Q3 2007 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 61, Q4 2007 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2008
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 62, Q1 2008 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 63, Q2 2008 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 64, Q3 2008 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 65, Q4 2008 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2009
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 66, Q1 2009 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 67, Q2 2009 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 68, Q3 2009 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 69, Q4 2009 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2010
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 70, Q1 2010 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 71, Q2 2010 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 72, Q3 2010 No Excel File
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 73, Q4 2010 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2011
United Kingdom Economic Accounts, No. 74, Q1 2011 No Excel File
United Kingdom National Accounts 2012
United Kingdom National Accounts 2013
United Kingdom National Accounts 2014