THe Blog

December 13, 2017

When Statistics Obfuscate Meaning

By Madan Sabnavis

In this article, Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings talks about the importance of understanding macro economic numbers in the right context in The Hindu Business Line.




"The GDP numbers that were released for Q2 of the year were quite significant because of the interpretation. For the first time we have had comparisons made between Q2 and Q1 which showed that the economy had improved. In fact the explanation was carried forward to vindicate the view that neither demonetisation nor GST have actually affected the economy and that things were up and about. And as this news came on the back of a Moody’s upgrade and a pat for reforms from S&P besides the improved Doing Business rank of the World Bank, the impression gathered was that the country is out of the docks. But will this mean that we are back to the 8 per cent growth path? Here everyone is hedging between 6.5 per cent and 7 per cent, and few are going beyond. The issue is actually one of interpretation of data which can lead to considerable obfuscation depending on how it is read."


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