British economic growth data delayed by two weeks

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The final estimate of British first-quarter economic growth will be delayed by almost two weeks owing to possible errors, it was announced here on Tuesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) had been due on Wednesday to publish the third and final estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the three months to the end of March.

"Quality assurance by the ONS revealed potential errors in some of the detailed figures in the national accounts data set," an ONS spokeswoman told AFP.

"To allow time to ensure the statistics fully meet National Statistics standards, the ONS has decided reluctantly to postpone publication until Monday 12 July."

Gross domestic product -- the value of all goods and services produced in the economy -- grew 0.3 percent in the three months to March compared with the prior quarter, the ONS had said in a second estimate published last month.

That was an upgrade from the 0.2-percent expansion that was given in the first estimate in April.

"It is important to ensure the national accounts are right, rather than disseminate statistics that might be subject to question over their quality," added ONS director general Stephen Penneck in a statement on Tuesday.

"We are really sorry that we have had to do this and apologise for the inconvenience. We will learn from this to prevent it happening again."

© 2010 AFP

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