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Economic measurement faces huge changes

Friday, January 2, 2015

Subject

Challenges faced by economic measurement techniques.

Significance

Important decisions are made on the back of economic statistics that are compiled by government statistical agencies. Policymakers and investors use these data with major consequences. However, evidence suggests that the economic statistics are often based on inadequate methodologies and data gathering techniques and can be distorted by rapid changes in the structure of most economies.

Impacts

  • Technological advances and the commercial benefits from better and more timely data will drive 'big data' changes.
  • Unless national statistical agencies can share the benefits of this data revolution, government data could become less relevant.
  • Governmental agencies are aware of these challenges, but the ability to commit appropriate resources to meet them is doubtful.
  • The data issues faced by developing countries will grow unless they receive support from wealthier countries and supranational agencies.
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