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Peru To Scrap `Fictional’ Monthly GDP Numbers

Posted in 3 Cables with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2009 by Farid Matuk

29 October 2002 13:15
Dow Jones International News English (Copyright (c) 2002, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

By Virginia Rey-Sanchez

LIMA -(Dow Jones)- Peru will scrap its monthly gross domestic product indicator and instead release a monthly indicator of output in various sectors, Farid Matuk, the head of the National Statistics Institute, or INEI, said late Monday. Matuk told journalists that the monthly GDP number had been distorted by unreliable data, especially in the heavily weighted “other services” sector and in the retail sector.

Recently named as head of the INEI, Matuk said Peru had released “fictional information” since 1987 based on the way the GDP number was constructed. “We either continue with the fiction or we make the information realistic,” he said. A new monthly indicator known as “gross value added goods” will be released from next month, when the output for September is reported, he said. “What we will be giving out can’t be called GDP,” he added.

The new indicator will include a primary sector, taking into account agriculture, fishing and mining, and a secondary sector, including manufacturing, construction, electricity and water. Those sectors can also have sub-sectors, he said. But the new indicator won’t measure services contained in the “other” sector, nor growth in the retail sector.
Separate Data On Tax Intake; Move Welcomed

The INEI will also simultaneously but separately release information on movements in tax collections. Matuk said that a newly revised quarterly GDP number will be released after the agency updates the base year used for GDP calculations using data from 2001.

“Investors are going to have much more confidence in this statistic than in fictional information,” Matuk said. He added that the Finance Ministry and the Central Reserve Bank of Peru may give their own estimates for GDP.

INEI recently reported that GDP rose 3.8% in August from the year- earlier month, with the economy expanding 4.1% in the first eight months. President Alejandro Toledo recently predicted that Peru’s GDP will expand 4.0% this year, despite negative growth in Latin America overall. Private sector economists aren’t predicting yet how the statistical overhaul will affect INEI’s bottom-line numbers going forward, but some do think the move by the agency was overdue.

“The main problem with the old GDP numbers is that there wasn’t any exact way to calculate the `other services’ and retail, which meant they had to be estimated indirectly by taking percentages from other sectors,” said Elmer Cuba, an economist with Macroconsult, a local consultancy. Macroconsult said the new indicator will be a better barometer of the economy, as it won’t include calculations using tax collections, which are influenced by factors not tied to the economic cycle. “Until they (the INEI) give out the new GDP, the private sector will have to calculate one each month on the basis of leading indicators,” he added. The Finance Ministry has recently started to release a growth estimate based on a basket of leading indicators.

-By Virginia Rey-Sanchez, Dow Jones Newswires; 511-221-7050;
peru@dowjones.com

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Tue Nov 5, 2002 1:11 am

Posted in 2002-11 Noviembre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by Farid Matuk

Otra versi`on periodistica basada en la misma entrevista de donde
Reuters produjo su reporte

Peru To Scrap `Fictional’ Monthly GDP Numbers

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
512 words
29 October 2002
13:15
Dow Jones International News
English
(Copyright (c) 2002, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

By Virginia Rey-Sanchez

LIMA -(Dow Jones)- Peru will scrap its monthly gross domestic product
indicator and instead release a monthly indicator of output in
various
sectors, Farid Matuk, the head of the National Statistics Institute,
or
INEI, said late Monday.

Matuk told journalists that the monthly GDP number had been distorted
by
unreliable data, especially in the heavily weighted “other services”
sector
and in the retail sector.

Recently named as head of the INEI, Matuk said Peru had
released “fictional
information” since 1987 based on the way the GDP number was
constructed.

“We either continue with the fiction or we make the information
realistic,”
he said.

A new monthly indicator known as “gross value added goods” will be
released
from next month, when the output for September is reported, he said.

“What we will be giving out can’t be called GDP,” he added.

The new indicator will include a primary sector, taking into account
agriculture, fishing and mining, and a secondary sector, including
manufacturing, construction, electricity and water.

Those sectors can also have sub-sectors, he said.

But the new indicator won’t measure services contained in the “other”
sector, nor growth in the retail sector.
Separate Data On Tax Intake; Move Welcomed

The INEI will also simultaneously but separately release information
on
movements in tax collections.

Matuk said that a newly revised quarterly GDP number will be released
after
the agency updates the base year used for GDP calculations using data
from
2001.

“Investors are going to have much more confidence in this statistic
than in
fictional information,” Matuk said.

He added that the Finance Ministry and the Central Reserve Bank of
Peru may
give their own estimates for GDP.

INEI recently reported that GDP rose 3.8% in August from the year-
earlier
month, with the economy expanding 4.1% in the first eight months.

President Alejandro Toledo recently predicted that Peru’s GDP will
expand
4.0% this year, despite negative growth in Latin America overall.

Private sector economists aren’t predicting yet how the statistical
overhaul
will affect INEI’s bottom-line numbers going forward, but some do
think the
move by the agency was overdue.

“The main problem with the old GDP numbers is that there wasn’t any
exact
way to calculate the `other services’ and retail, which meant they
had to be
estimated indirectly by taking percentages from other sectors,” said
Elmer
Cuba, an economist with Macroconsult, a local consultancy.

Macroconsult said the new indicator will be a better barometer of the
economy, as it won’t include calculations using tax collections,
which are
influenced by factors not tied to the economic cycle.

“Until they (the INEI) give out the new GDP, the private sector will
have to
calculate one each month on the basis of leading indicators,” he
added.

The Finance Ministry has recently started to release a growth
estimate based
on a basket of leading indicators.

-By Virginia Rey-Sanchez, Dow Jones Newswires; 511-221-7050;
peru@dowjones.com

Mon Nov 4, 2002 11:24 pm

Posted in 2002-11 Noviembre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by Farid Matuk

Aqui les paso una versi`on periodistica resultado de una entrevista
de dos horas a Reuters, Dow-Jones, Bloomberg y Gesti`on el martes 29
pasado. Creo que esta es una versi`on informada de las razones para
el obituario, y refleja adecuadamente las razones de la decisi`on y
las alternativas a difundir.

> > Peru says got GDP math wrong for 15 years (1)
> > Source: RTR_NA – Reuters North American Securities News
> > Oct 29 11:15
> > By Jude Webber
> > LIMA, Peru, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Peru has admitted it has
> > been reporting its key economic indicator, gross domestic
> > product growth, wrongly for the past 15 years and will publish
> > only partial data from now on until it can correct its sums.
> > Farid Matuk, who took over as head of the government’s
> > National Statistics Institute (INEI) in August, told reporters
> > late on Monday it had been a mistake to publish GDP data on a
> > monthly basis since 1987, when every other country in the world
> > except Canada and Finland published quarterly, because monthly
> > figures contained a wide margin of error.
> > Furthermore, he said the way the monthly figures were
> > calculated had also factored in a “false illusion” of the
> > performance of the service sector, meaning that the official
> > data “was not solid” and could not be trusted.
> > INEI will therefore strip the service and trade segments
> > out of its GDP numbers for the next few months, leaving a
> > snapshot of the performance of only around half of Latin
> > America’s No. 7 economy, which is worth around $54 billion on
> > current reckoning and leans heavily on mining and fishing.
> > “I can’t produce erroneous information. I’d rather partial
> > data that is clear than full data that is murky,” Matuk said.
> > While it rebases its index and sorts out its methodology,
> > INEI will publish only what Matuk called “hard figures” on the
> > detailed monthly output of goods in the primary and secondary
> > sectors — agriculture, fishing, mining, manufacturing,
> > utilities and construction — plus tax data.
> > Data for trade and “other services,” which covers mainly
> > transport, financial and public sector services, will go.
> > The first set of new-look figures, called “gross value
> > added production,” are due out next week, for September.
> > The government of unpopular President Alejandro Toledo says
> > Peru’s economic performance is stellar in a crisis-wracked
> > region, and is forecasting growth of at least 3.7 percent this
> > year, compared with 0.2 percent in 2001. According to current
> > calculations, GDP grew 3.8 percent in August and 4.1 percent in
> > the first eight months compared with the same 2001 periods.
> > NEW 2001 BASE
> > Once INEI has sorted out its sums, it will switch to
> > reporting complete GDP numbers, but on a quarterly basis.
> > Matuk said INEI would revise its 2001 GDP data in the next
> > few weeks, according to the current 1994 base year and method
> > of reckoning. But it will not publish full 2002 GDP data —
> > that will be up to the economy ministry and central bank.
> > He hoped that by July 2003, INEI would be ready to publish
> > the total value of Peru’s economy, in dollar terms, according
> > to a new 2001 base, followed by quarterly GDP data. That was
> > likely to have a delay of six months to begin with.
> > “There was a lot of resistance within INEI (to the new
> > method of calculation),” Matuk said. “But either we perpetuate
> > the fiction or we sort out the information, and I think sorting
> > out the information is the right thing to do.”
> > Current GDP data uses information provided voluntarily by
> > some 30,000 companies, but Matuk said INEI also had extensive
> > data from household and employment surveys from nearly 40,000
> > homes nationwide that would help complete the picture.
> > France’s national statistics agency is providing the
> > software for the new calculations, and is sending a team of
> > experts to Peru next month to help INEI get to work.
> > Matuk said Peru was also working with other countries on a
> > World Bank project to harmonize calculation of purchasing power
> > parity by 2005 based on a basket of 4,000 universal goods.
> > ((Lima newsroom, tel: +511 221 2130, fax +511 221 2133,
> > e-mail: lima.newsroom@reuters.com))
> > REUTERS