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Big differences in statistics make economists puzzled

VietNamNet Bridge – Economists, while pointing out that the reports released by different state agencies are at variance, said that it’s very difficult to find out effective solutions to the current situation with such the unreliable statistics.

Vietnam, CPI, unemployment, inflation rate, statistics, MPI

The low inflation rate is not the result of the good macroeconomic management, but because of the purchasing power exhaustion. The GDP growth rates of the next quarters are higher than the previous ones, but these are the lowest growth rates in the last many years. All these show that the national economy still has not escaped the difficulties.

Bui Trinh, a well-known economist, said the reported GDP growth rate of 4.89 percent in the first quarter is unconvincing.

He also pointed out that there are “some problems” with the figures about the credit growth. The outstanding loans in the first quarter increased at a moderate level of 0.03 percent, but the non-state’s investment reportedly increased sharply by 11 percent. It is enigmatic that while the credit growth rate was zero, while the cash flow to businesses increased sharply.

Dr. Le Dang Doanh also keeps doubtful about the figures. Previously, only the credit growth rate of 30 percent was enough to obtain the GDP growth rate of 6 percent. Meanwhile, in the first months of 2013, the credit grew by less than one percent, but the GDP still could grow by nearly 5 percent.

Doanh emphasized that there always exists a close link between the outstanding loans and the GDP growth, because businesses, which are mostly small and medium ones, have been relying on borrowed capital to develop their businesses.

Doanh also pointed out another unreasonable thing that in 2011-2012, Vietnam reportedly had 100,000 businesses shutting down, but the reported unemployment rate was only 2.2 percent. It is really very difficult to understand why Vietnam’s economy is in the most difficult period, but the unemployment rate is the lowest in the last many years.

“In such difficulties, the “virtual figures” would hinder the efforts to recover the national economy. Having inaccurate figures, policy makers will not be able to lay down reasonable policies to prescribe for  the patient,” Doanh said.

Dr. Tran Dinh Thien, Head of the Vietnam Economics Institute, has noted that businesses, for many reasons, try to hide bad figures, therefore, state management agencies themselves cannot have reliable figures.

“This explains why the statistics about the bad debts of the national economy remain doubtful. The bad debts in the reports of different management agencies are quite different, thus making economists puzzled,” Thien noted.

According to the economist, the forecast that the national economy would bounce back from the bottom in mid-2013 proves to be unpractical. The credit growth rate and the state budget collection, the two main factors which determine the macro economy development, both are unsatisfactory.

The credit growth rate was 0.03 percent only, while the budget collection fulfilled 16.7 percent and budget expenditure 18.5 percent of the yearly plan.

The indexes show that the national economy is still in bad conditions in 2013, and that the solutions to the current situation could not be found only in the loosening of the monetary policies and fiscal policies, while more drastic measures are needed.


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