By Hilary Mare
THE Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has come out guns blazing in response to the article in Business 7 that was published on September 7 stating that the views expressed by two local analysts were incorrect and misleading.
In the article the two indicated that the NSA has used the wrong deflator and as a result released inaccurate figures with regards to GDP growth.
“The Namibian National Accounts are compiled in line with international standards (SNA 1993) and follow best international practices, meaning that the Gross Domestic Product calculation follow a sound compilation methodology,” Alex Shimuafeni, the Statistician- General said.
The GDP is the sum of value added of all sectors of the economy. Value added is the difference between output and intermediation consumption (cost associated with production). The value added is compiled for 16 sectors of the economy.
“There is a possibility where by the current price GDP can grow lower than the constant price GDP. This happens when; input prices are increasing more than output prices resulting in lower value added at current prices i.e. thus numerating a smaller current price value with a constant price value.
“Contrary to the views held by the two economists, that it is unusual for current prices changes to be lower than constant prices, reality on the ground shows that it is absolutely possible as illustrated above.
“Namibia national accounts have been peer reviewed and the methodology was quality checked and assured by national accounts experts from the IMF vested with the mandate of ensuring compliance to international standards. The last peer review was done from 18-28 July. “The NSA would like to assure all our users that the deflators used in the national accounts are correct and quality assured. Should anyone need further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact the NSA where officials are ready to assist,” extended the agency.
In further allaying fears, the agency said that caution should thus be exercised when interpreting the GDP deflator.
It should also not be assumed that the GDP deflator is used as a deflator for any sector because sectors are deflated by relevant deflators as alluded above.
“The Statistics Act, 2011 (Act No.9 of 2011) mandates the NSA to, inter alia, coordinate the NSS.
The NSS is nothing else than the users and producers of statistics. Therefore, before any institution and/or individual who has good intentions in the name of Harambee starts to question any statistic or methodology used by the NSA, it is advisable to first approach the NSA to clarify the matter. The NSA is mature enough to accept in case of any wrong doing and learn from best practices. However, the NSA does not condone any wrong information that can confuse or ill inform the nation,” concluded the agency.
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