The Numbers Racket

Devoted to illuminating the perilous state of economic data
Serious Errors on UK Telecoms Data: Prices could have fallen by 90% more than the official price index
The Office of National Statistics (ONS), Britain’s official data agency, has admitted that it has made serious errors in its estimation of the output and productivity of the telecoms sector.
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Gender Matters in Poverty
Most Africans suffer poverty and inequality in various different forms, including income and employment, geography, age and gender. The gender dimension is particularly significant, with poverty rates among women and girls far higher than among men or boys.
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The Strange Story of Cote d’Ivoire’s Disappearing Coins
Cote d’Ivoire is by some accounts one of Africa’s best performing economies, with a reported GDP of 7.4% in 2018. It seems to do well in foreign direct investment, with total FDI stock of $10.2 billion, representing 23.8% of the country's GDP. So why does Cote d’Ivoire harbour precious little small change?
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Forging New Value Chains For African Goods
Although trade statistics are unable to reveal what originates where, and what is sold at which price, with sometimes unintended and dramatic effects on trade relations, significant commodity value chains originating in Africa have been circumnavigating the world for decades. But Africa benefits the least as their commodities and natural resources are invariably just hoisted out of the earth and immediately exported for onward processing and value enhancement.
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Most Read - Last 3 Years

Lords of Poverty
Neither Oxfam or the USA appears keen to see Rwanda start up a garment business. Here's why...
Measuring Hyperinflation:
Venezuela's Episode
Venezuela now exhibits the 57th historic episode of hyperinflation as measured in the Hanke–Krus World Hyperinflation Table. Entry to the hyperinflation dataset depends on three qualifying criteria...
GDP Revisions Rewrite Economic History
Revisions of national accounts affect economic analysis, calling into question theoretical findings based on earlier data. Revisions to German national accounts have resulted in a markedly higher GDP in absolute terms and a lower volatility in ...
Time to Overhaul Global Trade Estimates
The rise of global production networks since the 1980s changed the way we understand international trade and has profound repercussions on development policies and the conduct of global governance. New comparative advantages allow large developing countries to leap...
How Accurate Are China's National Balance Sheets?
The accuracy of data on China’s national balance sheets has attracted much less attention than that of the Gross Domestic Product reports. China’s Bureau of National Statistics has not released official national balance sheets, but two research teams...
Analysis of revisions in Indian GDP Data
This paper studies constant price growth estimates of India's annual GDP data in order to understand the revision policy adopted by the Central Statistics Office. The used of high-frequency indicators...
Errors in Demographic and Other Quantitative Data
Statistical data consumed, anylised and produced contain errors from more sources than is often recognised and the commercialisation of survey and other statistical research and 'inventions' such as 'big data' has led to naive...

Data Quality Ratings

This column reviews and rates the accuracy and utility of economic data worldwide.

GDP, population, and capacity to produce data are analysed below. Price, employment, dependency, inequality and other forms of economic data will be reviewed through 2020.


Check your Country's GDP Data Quality Rating

GDP per Capita
Data Quality Ratings
Major differences exist in the quality of both GDP and population data between countries. When GDP and population data of poor quality are combined to produce GDP per capita data the accuracy of the resulting ratio is further diminished. Read more
How to Increase GDP
How countries can increase GDP easily, relatively cheaply and legitimately. Read more
How Data Quality Ratings Are Produced
The Data Quality Ratings are based on a weighted average of 5 variables. In addition to an overall DQR score, each country is given a summary rating (A-D) designed to offer an overall view of data utility. Read more


Global Population Data Accuracy Ratings
The accuracy of population data varies widely across countries. The most comprehensive data on the number of people living in a territory and their demographic profile, a vital component for public sector economic and social planning and also for private sector needs, is usually available from the result of a census. Read more


Country Resources for Economic Data Production
The quality of economic data depends on the resources available to national statistics offices. We review resources, by country, Read more


National Economic Statistics Office Contacts

Data Quality Ratings Updates from NSO Surveys
A log of SNA and Base Year corrections to IMF and World Bank Data issued by the individual National Statistics Offices.

Regional Ratings

Asia Data Ratings
GDP data for 27 Asian countries reviewed, rated and ranked.
Americas Data Ratings
GDP data for 26 countries in the Americas reviewed, rated and ranked.
Europe Data Ratings
GDP data for 40 European countries reviewed, rated and ranked.
Africa Data Ratings
GDP data for 48 countries in Africa reviewed, rated and ranked.
Middle East Data Ratings
GDP data for 13 Middle East countries in reviewed, rated and ranked.
Global Data Ratings
GDP data for 154 countries reviewed, rated and ranked.

Country Ratings

China Data Ratings
China GDP data has been assigned a 'better than average quality' grade, it provides a...