HC Deb 24 May 2004 vol 421 cc1460-1W
Chris Ruane

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list(a) the Government consumption expenditure deflator and (b) the level of public sector inflation for each year since 1979. [175243]

Ruth Kelly

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl to Chris Ruane, dated 24 May 2004:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question concerning (a) the Government consumption expenditure deflator and (b) the level of public sector inflation for each year since 1979.1 am replying in his absence. (175243)

The implied annual deflator for general government consumption derived from the national accounts estimates published in March 2004 is presented in the attached table.

Please note that these estimates do not present price measures directly, since with a few exceptions (e.g. passport fees), there are no directly observable prices for the services provided by government. The estimates are therefore derived by comparing the spending on producing government services with measures of the output of those services. As derived statistics, they should not be confused with measures of the price of the inputs such as public sector earnings or prices paid for other purchases.

The methodology used in calculation the volume measure of Government consumption was changed from the mid-1990s, therefore comparisons should be made with care.

In calculating the implied deflator, the quality and reliability of the output measures are crucial. However, public service delivery and management mechanisms have developed and become more complex in recent years, and there is an increasing emphasis on the quality of service for the customer. As a result there are greater demands on, and expectations of, measures of government output. In order to ensure that output measures can respond to these demands, in December 2003 the National Statistician announced a review of the future development of government output and productivity measures, and the associated price indices.

General Government consumption—implied deflator1 UK,


Year Index
1979 27.8
1980 34.4
1981 38.8
1982 42.0
1983 44.7
1984 46.8
1985 49.5
1986 52.4
1987 56.2
1988 60.4
1989 64.8
1990 70.0
1991 74.9
1992 79.1
1993 81.1
1994 83.1
1995 84.9
1996 87.4
1997 88.8
1998 91.1
1999 95.4
2000 100.0
2001 105.7
2002 113.3
2003 122.7
UK National Accounts, 26 March 2004

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