Guernsey’s economy is doing better than the government realised, thanks to a more accurate set of data about how much money workers and businesses are making.
The States have been working to update the methodology to calculate the island’s Gross Domestic Product, putting it in line with international best practise.
And while their previously thought GDP for 2016 was £2.4billion, they’ve crunched the numbers again and it’s come out at £2.86billion – an increase of £460million.
The revised system combined with new data available as a result of a government focus on improved data collation, including it’s Electronic Census.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy and Resources Committee, said: “It is important to highlight that the economy hasn’t changed, it is the data that has changed. The economy is as strong today as it was yesterday. The island’s GDP data is now calculated using a methodology comparable to other similar jurisdictions and as a result has risen from £38,000 to £46,000 per person.”
“Having said that, the restated GDP estimate does have various knock-on effects for government and its policies. Our fiscal framework, for example, uses GDP estimates as a base for a number of targets. As such the Policy and Resources Committee will review the implications for States of Guernsey policies and report back to the Assembly in June next year with any recommendations.”
The Office of National Statistics provided independent scrutiny of the data sources and methods used to calculate the revised estimates. It confirmed it would allow the States of Guernsey’s data to be compared on a more like-for-like basis with other jurisdictions.
Gross Domestic Product is an aggregate measure of the total amount of income generated by individuals and companies in the island, which is primarily:
- Wages, bonuses, benefits in kind
- Rental income (and imputed rental income for owner occupiers)
- Income from self-employment
- Rental income
The ONS said: “Within the methodology used there are some substantial improvements; for instance the inclusion of Owner Occupier Housing (Imputed rental) puts the States of Guernsey data on an internationally comparable basis consistent with the European System of Accounts 2010 and with a very detailed and high quality set of data sources.”