A pilot of a new economic activity return that seeks to collect some specific information on economic activity in Guernsey and Alderney has been launched. The information will be used primarily to improve the accuracy of the Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures and forecasts that are published by the States of Guernsey and used in various ways. While not compulsory this year, businesses and traders are encouraged to submit a return (and feedback on the return form and submission process).
GVA is one of the main measures used to determine the value generated by each sector of Guernsey's economy in any particular year. It is used by the States of Guernsey to guide how much money should be invested in public infrastructure or donated to overseas aid, for example. It will also be used by policy makers in monitoring and supporting Guernsey's economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, helping to identify areas of both strength and weakness in the economy so we can target resources effectively.
More information about the pilot and how to access online and paper copies of the return form can be found here https://gov.gg/economicactivityreturn. The deadline for completing the pilot return and providing feedback is Thursday 10th June 2021.
Helen Walton, Head of Data and Analysis (and Economic Statistics Supervisor) said
"We want to be sure our first estimates of GVA and GDP for 2020 accurately reflect the impacts that the coronavirus pandemic had on our economy and to do so, we need some more data. The data needed, includes turnover and costs, which we hope can easily be sourced from year-end accounts. The data you supply will be strictly confidential to officers in the Data & Analysis Service and will only be used to produce economic statistics.
If this pilot is well supported, it will, when combined with our normal data sources, give us enough data to estimate 2020 GVA and GDP with high confidence.
We are seeking feedback on the returns themselves at the same time, as we want them to be as easy as possible to complete. Following this pilot, the return forms and process will be streamlined ahead of being repeated next year. All feedback is much appreciated and will be welcomed."
Following the States meeting on 27th October 2015 (item relating to standardising measurement of GDP), the Economic Statistics (Guernsey and Alderney) Law 2019 was drafted. This Law enables the States of Guernsey to require information that is needed to calculate GVA, GDP and other economic statistics, such as median earnings. However, to ensure proportionality, the information is being asked for on a voluntary basis to start with. This will inform thresholds, for example individuals and organisations with 30 or more employees and/or an annual turnover in excess of £1 million could be required to complete a refined version of the return in future years, although others will be welcome to make a voluntary return also.