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Revised number of hours worked in the National Accounts

The Labour Force Surveys (LFS) have revised the number of hours worked in the first and second quarter of 2020. As a consequence, the number of hours worked in the National Accounts has also been revised and updated figures are available in the Statistical Database.

The table below contains the corrected figures alongside the previously published ones, expressed in percentage change compared with the corresponding quarter of last year.

 Published figures
August, percent
 
Correct figures,
percent
 
Revision,
percentage points
  Q1 Q2 Q1 Q2 Q1 Q2
Business sector ‑1.1 ‑8.5 ‑0.5 ‑6.8 0.6 1.7
Government ‑2.2 ‑1.6 ‑1.8 ‑0.7 0.4 0.9
NPISH ‑2.8 ‑5.9 ‑2.4 ‑4.8 0.4 1.1
Total ‑1.5 ‑6.6 ‑0.9 ‑5.1 0.6 1.5

GDP has not been revised at this point in time. The effect of the revised hours is judged to be well within the range of uncertainty that is inherent to the quarterly compilations of the national accounts. Although the volume change in GDP, i.e. the growth rate in constant prices, can be impacted by a change in the number of hours worked, the effect in this case is considered to be relatively minor. For the second quarter, the effect is estimated to lie between +0.1 to +0.2 percentage points in working-day adjusted, volume change compared with the corresponding quarter the previous year. The effect on the first quarter is smaller. GDP measured in current prices is not affected.

The quarterly national accounts for the third quarter will be published at the end of November. At this point, the effect of the revised hours, along with any other updates in the primary sources concerning the previous quarters of 2020, will be fully incorporated into the accounts.