Ruling GERB, Opposition Socialists Argue over GDP Growth Statistical Data Manipulation

Ruling GERB, Opposition Socialists Argue over GDP Growth Statistical Data Manipulation

February 26 (BTA) - In a declaration issued by his BSP
for Bulgaria Parliamentary Group, Socialist MP Roumen Gechev
demanded in Parliament here on Wednesday the Prime Minister's
and the Finance Minister's resignations over key statistical
data, which the Socialists believe have been manipulated, after
the National Statistical Institute (NSI) released data about
imports and GDP growth.

According to Gechev, the NSI factually acknowledges the
Government's data as being incorrect.

GERB MP Aleksandar Ivanov also quoted NSI's released
information, according to which the experts are adamant that the
 data pertaining to imports have not been manipulated.
Commenting BSP's declaration, he said that the Socialists have
once again tried to manipulate, using incorrect information and
insinuations, Bulgaria's eurozone entry. "We must break it off
with this desire once and for all, and state responsibly that
Bulgaria's path leads to the eurozone, when our country is
ready," Ivanov added.

On Tuesday, NSI said that the Institute's and the Customs
Agency's representatives have discussed at a meeting the data
about imports in 2019 and that the experts are adamant that the
data have not been manipulated and the information was used in
good faith.

According to the new EU customs legislation, starting January
2019 importers of certain commodities submit two types of
customs declarations - a simplified and a supplementary one. The
 time difference between the two declaration's submission is
over a month (sometimes more), and NSI only uses the final data.
 This means that import from the end of May, for example, would
be reported statistically in July, the NSI explained.

For statistical purposes, NSI collects data from the Customs
Agency's information system each month. Due to the discrepancy
between the NSI's schedule (the data is collected up to 28 days
after the period's end) and that of the Customs Agency, this
database does not include the information from the supplementary
 declarations. The data about all quarters is revised only at
the end of the year. This is the reason why there is a
difference in the figures pertaining to imports in the GDP
quarterly statistics, the Institute said.

According to NSI's calendar about the circulation of statistics,
 the preliminary GDP data will be published on March 5, while
the final and revised data about 2019 will be published on
October 19.

The Customs Agency and the National Statistical Institute will
discuss the technology used to exchange data between the two
institutions, with the goal being to find solutions for
optimizing the process, NSI said. RY/MY


Source: Sofia