Britain to gain 5 percent in GDP with accounting maneuver

Britain's Office of National Statistics will change the way it calculates gross domestic product, automatically turning the country into a nation of savers.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  April 8, 2014 at 11:50 AM
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LONDON, April 8 (UPI) -- Britain’s Office of National Statistics will change the way it measures the economy, likely increasing the country’s gross domestic product by about five percent.

Research and development spending will be considered parts of the national product and not costs of production, the costs of producing weaponry will be part of the calculation, and future pension payments will be considered present income.

It will be the first reform in 15 years of counting the gross national product, and follows similar changes in the United States, Canada and Australia.

The accounting maneuvers, retroactive to September 2013, mean Britain’s GDP is larger than previously reported, personal incomes are higher on average and personal incomes-to-savings ratios will double, and will be more in line with other European countries, at around 10 percent.

The changes will likely see an increase in Britain’s GDP of about 75 billion pounds ($125.6 billion).

The announcement of the changes comes a week after George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said British citizens needed to save more in presenting the country’s annual budget. It included the removal of rules restricting withdrawal of money from personal pensions.

[Daily Telegraph]

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