This paper is to provide users of Economic and Labour Market Statistics with an update on progress made by NISRA regarding the development of a set of Supply-Use Tables (SUTs) for Northern Ireland. Since 2012 NISRA have been working with the Office for National Statistics to undertake a Scoping Study to examine available data sources and develop a pilot set of Supply-Use Tables for Northern Ireland based on available data.
During 2012/13 NISRA was awarded funding from the Quality Improvement Fund (QIF)1 to facilitate the investigation into the development of a set of Economic Accounts (Supply-Use tables) for NI. Funding was used to pay for an ONS Consultant from their Methodology Advice Service to provide expertise to undertake a Scoping Study to develop a set of SUTs for NI.
In short, a preliminary set of Supply-Use Tables were produced alongside a Scoping Study report which contained a set of recommendations for the next steps to develop the project further. These include, inter alia, areas where additional analyses from existing data sources could lead to a better balance of data to facilitate the compilation of more robust Supply and Use tables for NI.
A subsequent successful QIF bid during 2013 provided NISRA with resources to continue to take the project forward with the QIF expert during 2013/14. This second year of the project has involved taking the necessary steps to address the recommendations within the Scoping Study, on-going training of NISRA staff, the addition of other data sources, further quality assurance of the accounts developed by ONS and NISRA, preparing documentation and user consultation.
The following sections provide an overview of the project to date including highlighting areas of weakness and recommendations for the way forward.
This paper focuses on the methodology rather than presenting initial results. Important additional information will be available later in the year and will be integrated into the tables and reviewed. The option to publish interim results will be considered at this time.