Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Don't count on numbers

UP Professor Felipe Medalla during a colloquium organized by Foundation for Economic Freedom(FEF), a report of which event you can read here, was talking about how the growth statistics being bandied about by the government may not be real.

Medalla pointed out that that there is a persistent discrepancy between GDP figures on the one hand and figures for consumption, tax collection, investment, government spending and exports (i.e the components of GDP). He further noted that considering the country's historical record, if the official growth rates being churned out by the government were true we would have been experiencing high inflation and interest rates.

According to the disappointingly short write-up by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation of the event, Medalla concluded that the official statistics have become too, er, optimistic.

Optimistic? I think Prof Medalla minced his adjectives here. A forecast may be said to be opimistic alright, but a GDP, although an estimate in some aspects, is not a forecast and therefore the right adjective should have been unreliable, or spurious, or phony. Not optimistic.

Whenever a SONA is made by the president, so many people dispute the wonderland that she paints in her speech. A more substantial refutation of GMA's hallucinatory SONA could probably be had following Medalla's lead.

President Arroyo, through Garci, padded election tallies; she also solved the classroom shortage by a simple re-definition of what constitutes a shortage (and voila ! a classroom for every pupil). I think it would at least be funny to know she is pole-vaulting the country to First World status by the sheer strength of her imagination, which she probably got at (the aptly named) Assumption.

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