Change in way ONS collects data could have skewed GDP figures

THE Office for National Statistics (ONS) will look into claims that changes to its data collection methods may have skewed output figures for the building sector.

Construction executives say the changes led companies to submit business data from six weeks earlier, rather than only during that month.

The shift could mean GDP was overestimated towards the end of 2010 but underplayed in the first quarter of this year.

Rather than the disappointing 0.5 per cent GDP growth logged for the first quarter, the true figure is likely to have been around 0.8 per cent.

The ONS has now launched an inquiry into the disputed figures and says it will make the information available to the public in July.