CSO to review on cement and steel growth
National accounts for the eight years starting 2004 are unlikely to be revised in line with a controversial new methodology any time soon because a high-profile committee has asked the statistics office to re-examine the impact of cement and steel on the growth numbers.
After the new series was introduced, FY14 growth was amended to 6.9%, up from 4.7% estimated initially. For FY13, growth was revised to 5.1% from 4.5%. In FY16, GDP growth was pegged at 7.6% even as the Index of Industrial Production gained only 2.4%, raising concerns about the data. The data for the previous years will not be made public until the revised numbers compiled by the Central Statistics Office are examined again by the committee comprising officials from the finance ministry, NitiAayog and other experts.
“When we looked at the back series, we saw that the GDP sharply went up when cement and steel did well and vice-versa. We have asked CSO to remove the impact of these two from manufacturing so as to avoid double counting,” said an official, who was present at a meeting of the committee. The impact on growth was as large as 2.5-3 percentage points, the official said.
“We have been asked to again look into the corporate data because we don’t have data from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for calculating back series and were using alternative databases like CMIE,” said an official from CSO. CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) is a Mumbai-based business information company.
The exercise may be delayed further because the CSO is preparing the second advance estimates of national income for 2016-17 and the third-quarter GDP data, which are due on February 28. “Another brainstorming session will happen after they examine the new numbers and till then, we can’t make the back series data public because they will decide after analysing the report if we can,” said another CSO official.