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UK economic growth rate missing out on digital boom: review

[LONDON] Britain's economic growth rate would be higher if its official statistics properly reflected the explosive growth in online activity, former Bank of England Deputy Governor Charlie Bean, who is leading a review into British statistics, said.

If the digital economy was fully captured in economic statistics it could add between one third and two thirds of a percent to the growth rate of the British economy, a report drawn up by Bean and published on Friday said.

Bean was asked by finance minister George Osborne last year to look into how Britain's economic statistics could be improved after they came in for criticism, including from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

The review recommended that the Office for National Statistics create a new research centre to find better ways to measure digital activity.

Bean said the ONS should set up a second centre to look at ways that it could use a vast range of public data which its statisticians struggle to access. Britain has lagged other rich economies in the use of such data and has relied heavily instead on surveys to measure its economy.


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