What I do try to do, if I can, is help others understand stuff that I think I’ve got a bit of a handle on. In this instance, I’ve been having a conversation about the Office for National Statistics graph reproduced here by the BBC. And as I can’t produce my own graphs on the site where the original conversation was taking place, this seems as good a place as any. Better, actually – if I put it anywhere else the site owner would probably get cross.
All I have done is made one assumption – that UK GDP as at 31st December 2004 was £1.5trillion – and then plugged in the quarterly growth figures which are evident in the ONS graph, to come up with a line graph which shows the actual change in GDP over the period. And here it is, in extremely ropey “Excel to GIF” conversion.
This is a graph that can genuinely be used to visualise the change in GDP over the six-year period, rather than having to mentally project the quarterly growth rates. It’s very simplistic – it’s not adjusted “per person” or index-linked or any other statistical tomfoolery – but I hope it helps a little bit.