Changes to Weapons Data to Add $5.9 Billion to U.K. GDP in 2009

Proposed changes to the way the size of the British economy is calculated include a new treatment for weapons and other items that will increase estimates for previous years.

Spending on weapons will add about 3.5 billion pounds ($5.9 billion) to gross domestic product for 2009, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement on its website. Research and development will increase output by 22 billion pounds and pensions will add 5 billion pounds.

The ONS published details today of the methodological changes it will introduce in September to comply with new European accounting standards. Together, they will add 2.3 percent to GDP, or 32 billion pounds, in 2009. Other proposed changes unrelated to the new European System of Accounts will add 33 billion pounds. The combined increase of 65 billion pounds will raise 2009 GDP by 4.6 percent, the statistics office said.

Changes related to the ESA will add 2 percent to GDP on average for the years from 1997 to 2009, the ONS said. Other changes will increase output by about 1.6 percent over the same period.

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