A file photo of T.C.A. Anant, chief statistician of India, who said imperfect information
INDIA’S top statistician admit- ted the country’s economic data are “imperfect” but defended GDP figures against accusations they vastly overstate the performance of the supposedly booming economy.
Last Tuesday (31), India unveiled another set of world- beating figures, showing GDP (gross domestic product) grew nearly eight per cent in the most recent quarter, much faster than any other major economy. But the figures have puzzled many economists who find the numbers hard to square with other indicators such as industrial output or private investment that show far more sluggish activity on the ground.
“The fact is, imperfect information is still useful as long as I know what the sources of the imperfection are,” TCA Anant, chief statistician of India, said.
“The question is, would you rather walk with your eyes shut or with a pair of spectacles which are very dirty? The answer is often you would wear spectacles which are dirty.”
Anant said the new series is more accurate because it brings in much more information, in particular from the corporate sector, including data from 500,000 companies compared with 2,500 firms earlier.