By Max Clarke

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has hit back at Sunday Times economic journalist, Robert Watts, following his assertions that "the ONS has a clear track record of revising GDP growth up after the first quarter".

Following last month’s surprise drop in unemployment and inflation, Watts has suggested the state of the economy had been understated by the Office and that they would likely revise the figure upwards.

This, points out ONS Chief Economist, Joe Grice, in a letter to the Sunday Times editor, is factually incorrect.

Wrote Grice: “ONS publishes on its website every revision made to each successive estimate of GDP back to 1961. An article published at the end of 2009 showed that the average bias of revisions since 1993, from preliminary estimate to that made two years later, was 0.05 per cent, i.e. a twentieth of a percentage point, as near to zero as anyone could reasonably expect. The position has not changed materially since.