UK statistics office corrects first-quarter business investment data

LONDON Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:59am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Office for National Statistics said on Friday that it had miscalculated changes in business investment in the first three months of this year, leading to the annual decline being overstated by a factor of three.

Business investment in the first three months of 2013 was 5.5 percent lower than a year earlier, not 16.5 percent lower as reported on June 27, making the fall the sharpest since Q1 2011 rather than since Q3 2009.

The ONS also corrected the fall on the quarter to 1.2 percent, again lower than the 1.9 percent as earlier reported.

British economic data are frequently revised, but outright errors by statisticians such as this are rare.

An ONS spokesman was unable to comment on the exact source of the error.

Business investment data feed into estimates of gross domestic product, but the ONS said that it did not need to correct headline figures for GDP or overall gross fixed capital formation, which includes non-business investment.

- For the corrected ONS statement, see: here

(Reporting by David Milliken Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

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