Finding economic stats and data at ONS and Bank of England


Quick links for main economic statistics

My page with graphs Main ONS dataset Useful direct links
Economic growth National income acc Real GDP | % quarterly
Inflation inflation series CPI annual %
Unemployment Labour market ILO %
Current account b of p pnbp C.A % GDP
Budget deficit psf at ONS | psf at HM T PSNB % GDP
Public sector debt psf at ONS PSND % GDP
Labour productivity prdy dataset lab. prod. % change
Saving Ratio Nat.l inc. acc: J3 household savings %
Business investment Business investment
Housing market Nationwide data house price index ONS
UK wage growth average earnings S.A % change
Industrial + manuf output industrial production index of output

Bank of England data
UK Bond yields Bank of England 10 year bond yields
Exchange rates Sterling exchange rate
Money supply (BM4 at B of E)

Other data

Readers Questions: I’m pretty good at finding data at FRED. But I have no luck finding what I want at ONS. Do you have a post on that? Or some guidelines that might help me? Would be great!

It’s a good question. I’ve spent the past four years finding my way around the ONS database and website (and updating links the last time they changed URLs). I’ve spent many hours looking for certain statistics. The good news is that nearly all the important ones are there, if you dig hard enough. Though some data like exchange rates, bond yields, interest rates and money supply you will need Bank of England database.

Sometimes it’s frustrating because all you want is the % change in real GDP, and you have to wade through statistics on S.A Output in fishing and forestry.

A few points.

  1. If you get stuck, ONS have been very helpful in pointing out to me the relevant page. So it might be worth using the contact page, if you do get stuck
  2. Sometimes, the hardest thing is knowing where to find a statistic. For example, finding the savings ratio was difficult, because it’s not intuitive you need to look in National accounts – Household sector – saving ratio
  3. In some cases, other sources of data are better, e.g. for housing I still think Nationwide is better than the ONS, though the ONS seem to be giving housing more importance.
  4. It’s also worth checking out:

Tips on getting data

I subscribe to the ONS RSS feed so I can see when new publications come out.

Selecting datasets

In recent releases, you often only get data from the past 3-5 years. But, I usually want data going back 10 or 20 years. Suppose we want real economic growth.

The trick is to

  1. click on data menu tab.
    Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 08.32.56
  2. Then type GDP and search in datasets and timeseries
  3. Then look for most recent quarterly national accounts datasets, and click on ‘Select Series from this dataset
  4. This brings you to a series of data tables, you can select


To get real GDP, you need to know real GDP is C2: GDP at chained volume measure.

(In the past, I’ve spent considerable time looking for real GDP, rather than looking for GDP at chained volume measure)

Then from the final series, you can select different measures of real GDP, which go back to 1955

real GDP ons

  • ABMI
  • IHYP
  • IHYQ

Main Data Series and (where to find them)

Bank of England data

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