UK Data Explorer

Tools for exploring UK public data

Headline economic indicators (archive)

This page is no longer being updated. The latest data can be found on the Office for National Statistics website, including the Key Economic Time Series Data page.

Gross domestic product

GDP is a measure of all the activity in the UK economy in a particular period. Real data is adjusted for inflation; nominal data is not. This article by the ONS's chief economist provides a brief explanation. The ONS website has further details. Data is published on a quarterly basis in the following releases.

The annual Blue Book publication of national accounts in late July provides a further estimate of annual data.

Quarterly data from the latest GDP publication is shown below. More timely data for sectors of the economy, including monthly estimates, can be found in Index of Production and Index of Services releases.

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Labour market

The number of people unemployed and unemployment rate are derived from the Labour Force Survey rather than from the Jobseeker's Allowance claimant count. To count as unemployed, people have to say they are not working, are available for work and have either looked for work in the past four weeks or are waiting to start a new job they have already obtained. The unemployment rate is calculated as a proportion of the economically active population (those in employment plus those who are unemployed).

The employment rate is the proportion of the total population in a given age range who are in employment. The economic inactivity rate is also calculated as a proportion of the total population in an age range.

This article by Caron Walker of ONS provides a brief explanation of unemployment data. A five-minute explanatory video and detailed guidance are available on the ONS website.

The data is published by ONS on a Wednesday around the middle of each month. The page for the latest release includes several links to data, including regional data. The Labour Market Statistics Dataset link allows you to download time-series data for variables of your choice. The Excel-format reference tables provide unrounded data and a greater choice of variables, but the layout of the data can be awkward to work with for some tasks.



Economic inactivity

Claimant count

Weekly earnings

This data is in current prices (not adjusted for inflation).

Inflation: consumers

This BBC Economy Tracker article explains inflation.

CPI and RPI inflation are published on a monthly basis by ONS.

Inflation: producers

Price indices for producers are published in the Producer Price Index and Services Producer Price Indices publications.

Retail sales index

The three charts below are in volume terms (that is, adjusted for inflation).

ONS publishes retail sales data in the monthly Retail Sales Bulletin.

Balance of payments and trade

Data is published in the Balance of Payments and UK Trade releases. The Balance of Payments dataset includes trade data for the period since 1955.


Data: Adapted from data from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

Further reading

  • The Office for National Statistics publishes lists of indicators with links to data on their Key Figures and Key Economic Time Series Data pages.
  • The House of Commons Library publishes a monthly Economic Indicators Report (scroll down to the Research Papers section). The report includes charts and commentary on a wide range of indicators.
  • The ToUChstone blog has a useful economic dashboard.
  • Tejvan Pettinger's Economics Help site includes links to many data sources, along with helpful explanations of the data.
  • John Sloman maintains a list of economic data sources, including international sources, on the Economics Network site.