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IMF Chief Gita Gopinath Raises Concerns Of Transparency In India's GDP Data


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently lowered India's GDP growth estimates for 3 financial years. While growth projection for the current FY20 was lowered by 20 basis points to 7.3 percent, the forecast for FY21 was reduced to 7.5 percent from the earlier estimate of 7.7 percent. As for the financial year 2018-19, it was lowered by 10 basis points to 7.5 percent.


Following the release of the "World Economic Outlook," chief economist at IMF, Gita Gopinath, told CNBC that the international body is looking closing at the new numbers that come out of India considering the fact that it is now the fastest growing economy in the world.

"With regards to the newer numbers that are coming out, we are paying close attention to it, we are speaking closely to our colleagues in India and then we will make a determination based on that," she said.

IMF Chief Gita Gopinath Raises Concerns Of Transparency In India's GDP Data

Further, she said that while the revisions made on GDP calculations in 2015 are welcomed, there are more issues like that in regard to the deflator being used to calculate the real GDP, that have not been addressed.


"There were important revisions that were made in 2015 as a part of modernizing India's national accounts statistics, so that is certainly welcome. That said there are still some issues that need to be fixed and this we have flagged before with respect to the deflator that is being used for estimating real GDP, this is something we have flagged in the past," Gopinath said.

The GDP deflator is a metric that helps calculate the real GDP growth by measuring the extent of change in prices (inflation) in the economy. To calculate the real GDP, the output in the current year (for which GDP is being calculated) is multiplied by the prices that prevailed in the base year (and not the current prices).

Concerns on the calculation of data from the IMF comes a couple of months after two members, including the head of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) quit as a protest to stalling of an NSSO Survey that was later leaked to the press and showed that unemployment in India had hit a 45-year high. The government later said that the data was not yet finalized.

Read more about: imf gdp
Story first published: Thursday, April 11, 2019, 16:17 [IST]
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