These were massively overshadowed by imputed rentals for housing, which were £231 billion. This is the sum that for GDP accounting purposes an owner occupier is deemed to pay themselves for the right to live in their own home. This sum has supposedly to be added to GDP to make sure UK GDP data is comparable with the GDP data of countries, like Germany, where renting is very much more common than it is in this country.
As is apparent from the table the net result is that over the last decade, just over 10% on average of GDP has literally been made up. There is no such income in this country. Nor is any tax paid on it.
It is also curious to note that whilst actual rents have grown from 2.5% of GDP to 4% of GDP these imputed rents have fallen from 12% to 10%. There has, of course, been a switch to rented property in the UK, but it is hard to see how imputed rents have fallen so heavily when the cost of houses has risen to significantly. I have not seen commentary on this issue, and it is not the primary focus of this post.
That focus is on the fact that we really should b aware that when looking at GDP data 10% of it simply does not exist. No wonder it is such a ridiculous measure.
Therefore, one of the things done to make GDP better than not totally bad is a waste. Or so says Spudcup.
For he does keep saying that GDP doesn’t measure the things that really matter. Health, security, blah blah. Well, living somewhere is something that really matters – it should be in GDP, right?