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The Numbers Racket

Devoted to illuminating the perilous state of economic data
How to Decimate a Country in Less Than 20 Years
In 1960, Italy’s GDP was 15% smaller than France’s, and 27% lower than the average of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France’s combined. However, this country enjoyed steady growth until the start of the 1990s as Italian household income caught up with the period’s norm for the other eurozone nations, so much so that around 1995 France and Italy’s GDPs converged and there came to be only a 6% difference between the average of the countries mentioned...
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The European Union Must Defend Andreas Georgiou
Nicolas Veron argues that the relentless prosecutions against Georgiou are more than a matter of shameful harassment by Greece. Georgiou’s case also raises disturbing questions about the integrity of European statistical processes...
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Modi-fication of Indian Data As Jobs Problem Emerges
Worrying signs have emerged over the last few months, that the rapid growth of recent years may be slowing down, and that India may have a jobs crisis in the making...
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The Looting Machine Accelerates, or a Better Life for Africans?
There are two very different views on current prospects for Africa. There is widespread agreement that companies and countries (particularly China and Russia) have become very interested in Africa of late...
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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...
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 ...
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...
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...
Poor Economic Statistics & China's Consumption Myth
The generally held belief that China’s consumption is too low is a myth based on inadequate theory, a misreading of official statistics and the use of market exchange rates for making international comparisons. Chinese official statistics underestimate...

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.

GDP

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

Population

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

Capacity

Capacity Ratings for National Statistics Offices
The quality of regular national income estimates and also population estimates during and between censuses depends to a considerable extent on the statistical capacity of national statistics offices. Statistical capacity, and consequently the ability to adhere to global standards, depends critically on the resources and information available at any given time and place. Read more

Contacts

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...

Analysis & Insights

France and the Euro The Reason for Riots
Data shows the overvaluation of the Euro is hurting France while favouring Germany...
Can Big Data Improve Measurement?
The amount of data generated and stored in the digital age is accelerating rapidly, but this...
Trade Data:
Use with Care
The international trade statistics used by many commentators are inaccurate...
The Flaws in Population Data
Accurate world population data is immensely important in assessing the impact of...
Analysis of Revisions in Indian GDP
Understanding the revision policy adopted by the Central Statistics Office...