The Devil's in the Data

The Devil's in the Data

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I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3 per cent of the GDP, all sitting members of the Congress are ineligible for re-election, Warren Buffet, the maverick investor, famously said. A ballooning fiscal deficit and sliding growth are every government’s nightmare. Data can make or mar reputations.

In India, as the economy grows and diversifies, the problem of capturing the growth story in numbers has left policymakers flummoxed. GDP revisions are the norm, as are various other data revisions, including of industrial growth and trade, which form the basis of GDP calculation.