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Composite index
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Analysing Data Issues in Measuring Inequality in UK Regions
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Julian Gough, World Economics, December 2020
Converting official nominal regional GDP data for 2017 to real values, using an approximate deflator for regional price levels, reduced the size of the London economy by 12% or £51 billion. Using real GDP per head as an indicator of prosperity revealed London to be the most prosperous region and Wales the poorest. Real data reduced the inequality between regions by 26% compared to the nominal data. Using real household income per head as an alternative indicator showed London to be the most prosperous region and the North East of England to be the poorest. Real data reduced the inequality between regions by 16% compared to the nominal data. Using the regional unemployment rate as a proxy inverse measure of prosperity produced markedly different results to the financial data. London had high prosperity in financial terms co-existing with a comparatively high unemployment rate. A composite index of prosperity, combining all three indicators with selected weights, revealed London to be the most prosperous region at 33% above the national average and the North East of England to be the poorest at 23% below the national average.
Measuring Macroeconomic Performance Using a Composite Index
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Julian Gough, World Economics, September 2018
Large quantities of economic data, varying in accuracy and reliability and subject to later revision, are continually produced and published so interpretation using only one data source is subject to risk. The complex world of data can be simplified by combining different measures of economic performance—economic growth, unemployment and inflation into a single composite index. A composite index of cross-sectional data relating to the economic performance of all of the European Union in 2017 puts Ireland, Romania and Malta in the top three positions, while Germany is ranked 12th. Tracking the UK with the composite index using time-series data shows the impact of the financial crisis in 2008–09 with a gradual improvement in performance which peaks in 2015.

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