Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Some Tchotchke-toting Economist Says India's Numbers Might Not be Good

From the Wall Street Journal's IndiaRealTime:

Nobel Prize Winner Angus Deaton Says There Are Discrepancies in India’s Economic Data
When India’s statisticians revised their economic output figures earlier this year, they vaulted the country to the top of the global growth leagues – and also prompted some to wonder about the soundness of their numbers. 
Angus Deaton, who won this year’s Nobel Prize for economics, in part for his work measuring the poverty rate in India, says he hasn’t followed details of the latest changes in how India tallies its gross domestic product. But he said questions about Indian data are nothing new. 

In an interview with news channel NDTV, he pointed to what he said were “very serious discrepancies” between numbers collected to calculate GDP and the information collected by the National Sample Survey on household spending and consumption. 

“The national accounts are showing, you know, a huge increase in the amount that people have, year, upon year, upon year, and we’re just not picking it up in the household surveys,” Mr. Deaton said. That’s “a very, very serious gap and I think not enough is being done to address that,” he said. 

Mr. Deaton, a professor at Princeton, said the differences raise doubts about the accuracy of growth numbers. “I’m sure some of that growth is exaggerated,” Mr. Deaton said. “I’ve no idea how much, it might be just a point or two. It might be a lot more than that.”...MORE