UK Statistics Authority blasts market-moving data leak

Clara Guibourg
Follow Clara
The watchdog demanded a review to ensure that a similar breach "cannot and will not happen again" (Source: Getty)

Market-moving UK data was leaked to hundreds before its official release on Wednesday, a breach blasted by the country’s statistics watchdog.

The UK Statistics Authority wrote that it was “deeply concerned about the impact that breaches (and apparent breaches) relating to the unauthorised, widespread sharing of statistics before their publication may have on the trustworthiness of the UK’s official statistics system”, in a letter made public today.

The figures, leaked and reportedly shared with hundreds of civil servants, revealed a jump in employment and slowing wage growth, key metrics for the Bank of England’s interest rate decision.

The release “was shared by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with up to 300 people, through a social media network ahead of the publication of the report by someone who is not approved to have pre-release access to the statistics”, the watchdog wrote in the letter addressed to the head of the DWP.

The Statistics Authority added that it expected the DWP to review its processes to ensure that a similar breach “cannot and will not happen again”.