ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

J Dennis RajakumarSubscribe to J Dennis Rajakumar

Misguided Priorities

A close examination of the recent trends in government finances suggests that the expenditure pattern of the government does not provide any assurance for the future in terms of building adequate social capital. The regressive nature of taxation policy in recent years along with reduced government spending has put additional burden on out-of-pocket expenditure of individuals.

Comparing IIP and NAS in Their New Incarnations

The Index of Industrial Production series, the most significant macroeconomic lead indicator, was revised by the Central Statistics Office in May 2017, two years and three months after revising the National Accounts Statistics series. Even as the newIIP series is more current, growth rates of output do not match those of theNAS. This, along with the significant lag in the periodic revision ofIIP, diminishes its usefulness.

Measuring Manufacturing

Bringing attention back to the manufacturing sector and to the statistics available to understand it, this analysis presents the differences in size and rates of growth of the sector when measured using the new National Accounts Statistics series (2011–12) and the Annual Survey of Industries. Clearly, changes in methods of measuring (for instance, the shift from the establishment approach to the enterprise approach) have introduced unexplained changes into measures of the manufacturing sector.

Not for Growth

Sticking to the firm commitment to contain fiscal deficits, the reduced thrust on government spending does not seek to be countercyclical given that economic growth is falling. There is vast scope to step up collection of corporate taxes by widening the tax base through greater compliance.

Demonetisation: 1978, the Present and the Aftermath

In the context of the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes, the issuance of currency and its different denominations are traced over time, while also tracking key macroeconomic features of India's changing economy over the decades. Further, the possible immediate and longer term economic effects of demonetisation are discussed.

Estimates of High GDP Growth for 2015-16

In producing the new series, the Central Statistics Office with its rebased National Accounts Statistics has done a studious job of marshalling diverse sources of data and weaving them together into a composite new source. However, the final picture of NAS data would have been more acceptable if better caution was exercised in using new concepts as well as new sources of data, and in weighing the growth results against frequent and extensive revisions. The CSO has failed to refine the growth results juxtaposed against the repetitive and substantial revisions that the data sources have impelled and have completely ignored the analytical construct of gross domestic product at factor cost.

Continuous Revisions Cast Doubts on GDP Advance Estimates

Two recent press releases by the Central Statistics Office substantially revise the new series of National Accounts Statistics. The new releases are more than just routine updates, and entail methodological changes and incorporate new sources of data, perhaps in response to various critiques. Yet, on comparing the advance estimates released with past such estimates, the CSO's latest growth projections once again turn out to be far too optimistic.

Some Puzzling Features of India's Recent GDP Numbers

An analysis of the end-November 2015 data release of the Central Statistics Offi ce raises some issues that must be kept in mind while discussing the state of India's economy. If past trends are anything to go by, economic growth in 2015-16 will not improve in the last quarter as some seem to hope. The movements in the GDP defl ators and the very odd behaviour of a gradual decline in the investment rate together indicate that growth in 2015-16 will not end as earlier forecast.

Surge in Union Government Revenues

The tax revenues of the union government have surged in the first half of 2015–16, growing much faster than budgeted. Indirect taxes led the rate of growth of tax revenue collections, while direct tax collections grew less than expected. Though higher revenue is welcome, indirect taxes are nonetheless regressive, and higher indirect tax revenue will only accentuate income inequalities in India.

Are Corporates Overleveraged?

There is concern that corporations have borrowed too much, and that therefore bank balance sheets are strained as well. Contrary to this popular view, it is argued here that the company finance data of the corporate sector in general does not suggest that this is so.

Gross Value Added

To estimate gross value added for the manufacturing sector, the 2011-12 National Accounts Statistics series follows the "single deflation" instead of the "double deflation" method. In this note, it is argued that the double deflation method estimates come closer to the Index of Industrial Production growth estimates, and that this reinforces the view that gross value added of manufacturing is overestimated in the 2011-12 series. This has an impact on overall GDP growth numbers, which too end up lower than in the new series.

Private Corporate Sector in New NAS Series

Revisiting the MCA-21-based estimates of the size of the private corporate sector in the rebased National Accounts Statistics, it is argued that the use of a single blow-up factor for non-government non-financial public and private limited companies could be leading to an overestimation of gross value added and gross savings. If there has to be a blow-up, it should be done separately, given the distinct characteristics of public and private limited companies.

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