Tripping twice over the same stone

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Tripping twice over the same stone
An adage says it is a shame to trip twice over the same stone. But government data, keeps teetering and faltering time and again.

The government has had to now revise the Index for Industrial production data for January downwards from 6.8% to 1.1%. It seemed there was a huge error in reporting sugar production. A press release attributes it to the directorate of sugar in the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution. To drop the IIP by a huge 570 basis points, means the person collating the sugar data, may have seen a million sugar bags, instead of one.

In December, the government admitted that the export data was inflated by a staggering $9 billion for the April-October fiscal. That's a colossal Rs 45,000 crores at the current dollar rate of Rs 50. A few 100 crores is acceptable...but Rs 45,000 crores is simply whopping! It seems there was a data entry error.

“This is a goof-up and there is no harm conceding a mistake,” the Commerce Secretary, Dr Rahul Khullar, had then remarked.

It seems that markets and analysts who are relying on government data could be relying on flawed data. So, just before you analyse and interpret government data, hang on for sometime – it may just about be revised.

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