National Statistical Commission
Author: Desk August 20, 2018
The National Statistical Commission (NSC) constituted a Committee on Real Sector Statistics under the Chairmanship of Dr. Sudipto Mundle in April, 2017 for improvement and modernisation of real sector database. The Committee submitted its report to the NSC in July, 2018.Chapter V of the report discusses alternative approaches for converting the old GDP series to the new base year 2011-12. It presents estimates of the old series of GDP and other macroeconomic aggregates converted to the new base year 2011-12 for the period 1993-94 to 2013-14 based on one of these approaches.
2. The report of the Committee was considered by the NSC in its meeting held during 16-17th July, 2018. In this meeting, the NSC inter alia noted the recommendations made by the Committee along with those made by three other committees and desired that the reports of all the four Committees should be placed on the MoSPI website for wider consultation. Accordingly, the reportswere uploaded on the MoSPI website.
3. The Committee on Real Sector Statistics made the following recommendations:
(1) The estimates of GVA/GDP prepared by the CSO using its methodology for the period 2004-05 to 2011-12 may be considered by the NSC as and when they are approved by the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics.
(2) The NSC could also consider initiating an exercise toproject forwards the GDP series based on the old methodology with 2004-05 as base up to, say, 2014-15 and adjust it to the new base year 2011-12 based on comparisons with the new series.
(3) Meanwhile the estimates of gross domestic product and other related aggregates forthe period 1993-94 to 2013-14 using the production shift method are being presented to the NSC for consideration.
(4) When the GDP and other macroeconomic aggregates based on the methodsmentioned in V.3.1 and V.3.2 of the report become available the time series data based on all the three approaches should be compared for their robustness.
4. The reports of Committees were considered by the NSC in its meeting held on 30th Jul 2018 at Mumbai and the NSC gave directions that a copy of all the three reportsof the NSC Committees on Real Sector statistics, Online Reporting System and Analytics may be forwarded to MoSPI for comments on eachitem of recommendation.
5. As the report of the Committee on Real Sector Statistics is in the public domain, there seems to be some confusion in a section of the media as also amongst a few economists and academicians that back series data of GDP has been officially released by the MoSPI.
6. It is clarified through this Press Note that the methodology for back-casting GDP series has not yet been finalised and various alternative methods are being explored. The methodology as also the series using the methodology will be worked out using the suggestions made by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics and other suggestions that emanate during the consultancy process. This exercise will first be considered in the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics and subsequently by the NSC. Thereafter, the MoSPI will consider releasing official estimates on back series of GDP data. Thus, it is work in progress.