GSO recalculation of provinces' GRDP provides truer picture of local development
A problem existed for years between the difference of GRDP (gross regional domestic product) reported by local statistics offices and GDP calculated by the General Statistics Office (GSO).
GSO General Director Nguyen Thi Huong said the figures about GRDP calculated and published by local statistics offices in the past did not truly reflect the size and the growth rate of local economies.
For a long time, the gap between the GRDP aggregated from the reports of 63 cities/provinces and GDP of the whole country widened year after year, which reached a two-digit level in some years.
In 2011, Vietnam’s GDP growth rate announced by GSO and used for reference by domestic and international institutions was 6.24 percent. But the GRDP growth rates reported by 61 localities were much higher than the nation’s GDP. Of these, 27 localities had growth rates of over 10 percent.
If aggregating the GRDP reported by localities in 2011, the GDP growth rate of Vietnam would be 11 percent, or 1.8 times higher than the GDP announced by GSO.
Similarly, if considering the GRDP reported by local authorities in 2012, the nation’s GDP would be 9.13 percent. The official GDP announced by GSO for that year was 5.25 percent only, or 1.74 times lower.
The year 2012 was a tough one for the global and local economies, but no locality reported GRDP growth rate lower than the 5.25 percent of the whole country, and 21 localities even reported GRDP growth rates of over 10 percent.
“The inconsistency between reported GDP and GRDP shows the low quality of statistical work,” she said.
This also affects policies and plans, and socio-economic development programming.
Speaking about the reasons behind the problem, a representative of GSO cited the difficulty in collecting information under the principle of residence of the system of national accounts (SNA), which leads to overlapping calculation.
The other reasons include ‘achievement disease’, i.e. localities tend to ‘prettify’ their achievements. There is also a lack of statistics officials with deep knowledge about SNA.
Therefore, the Prime Minister in 2015 released a decision on reforming the data compilation process in cities/provinces (Project 715) to solve the problem.
Project 715 aimed to help erase the gap between GRDP and GDP figures.
In 2016, GSO checked and re-calculated the GRDP in 2011-2015 and tried to calculate GRDP in H1 and the whole year of 2016.
In 2017, GSO officially compiled and made public GRDP for localities. The result of GRDP compilation was one of the important bases for GSO to reconsider and re-assess the GDP in 2010-2017.
With the compilation by GSO, the figures about GRDP and GDP have become compatible. The GRDP figures have been used by cities and provinces in management and policymaking.
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