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How is GDP Calculated

Understanding GDP

Gross domestic product (GDP) is arguably the best-known indicator of economic activity. The UN System of National Accounts sets out a methodology for GDP which allows it to be estimated in a consistent way across the world to allow international comparisons. Additionally it is used to monitor economic performance - the ‘health’ of the economy.

The following methodology note relates to the Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product publication. This publication deals with short-term volume change in the economy. Estimates of the monetary value of GDP are published in Quarterly National Accounts Scotland.

GDP in Scotland - Methodology Guide

Contents

CHAPTER 1: UNDERSTANDING GDP
  What is GDP?
  What does GDP not cover?
  Three measures
  Balancing these measures
  Nominal and real GDP
  Industry Classifications
CHAPTER 2: SCOTTISH QUARTERLY GDP (Output Method)
  Sources
  Turnover Data Methodology
  Deflation
  Other Volume Estimates
  Seasonal adjustment
  Benchmarking to Annual National Accounts
  Weighting and chain-linking
  Publication
CHAPTER 3: REVISIONS POLICY
  Scope of Revisions Policy
  Annual reassessment
  Quarterly data

Revisions

In order to maintain the accuracy of our GDP estimates and to ensure our figures continue to be comparable to other countries we regularly make revisions to our data. We publish Scottish GDP figures four times a year. For most publications revisions will tend to be minor (usually to include improved data sources or new data). Our July GDP publication coincides with the publication of the Scottish Supply & Use Tables. We take this opportunity each July to implement any methodological improvements to the Scottish estimates. Revisions also occur as a result of another major publication - the UK Blue Book - which is published each year in July or October. Our full revisions policy will be available in the forthcoming GDP Methodology Paper.