Staunton, Oct. 20 – Government statistical agencies frequently correct their initial economic statistics, but Russia stands out because it does that more often than most, typically makes adjustments to suggest that the situation is better than it earlier reported, and does not explain carefully why it has made those changes, a new study says.
Prepared by the To Be Precise portal and the Russian Economics School, the study says that this pattern reduces the confidence people have in Russian government statistics (tochno.st/materials/rosstat-postoyanno-peresmatrivaet-dannye-zadnim-chislom-i-obychno-v-storonu-povysheniya-znachit-li-eto-chto-rossiyskaya-statistika-priukrashena-vmeste-s-resh-my-sobrali-bazu-korrektirovok-chtoby-otvetit-na-etot-vopros).
Some the changes Rosstat makes are undoubtedly simply an effort to be more accurate, the usual motivation for the actions of the statistical agencies of other governments. But the frequency and occasional size of Rosstat changes, the fact that they almost all go in one direction, and that they aren’t explained creates suspicions about the quality of reporting.
Again, the study insists, some of those suspicions are warranted; but some of them are not. Instead, it suggests, the slowness and low quality of reporting by various industries and ministries explains what is going on much of the time rather than it being the product of outright falsification as many think.