MANILA -- Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia countered allegations that the government is manipulating inflation figures, especially the rise of the August 2018 rate to 6.4 percent.
There have been talks among economists that initial report for the rate of price in the eighth month this year rose to 6.6 percent, but what the government announced is a lower figure.
In a message to reporters, Pernia, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General, said initial data releases of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a NEDA attached agency, are preliminary figures and subject to revisions.
“This applies to national income accounts such as GDP (gross domestic product) etc.,” he said.
Pernia said the GDP report in 2016 was initially reported to be at 6.8 percent but was later revised up to 6.9 percent, and the first quarter growth this year from 6.6 percent to 6.4 percent.
The PSA normally issues the revisions on GDP figures a day before the latest quarter’s output is announced.
“In the case of 2018 August inflation, the revision was also an appropriate and necessary corrigendum (Latin for 'to be corrected') as the error was detected early. There was no intention of hiding it,” he said.
“We just thought it prudent and not necessary to announce it as it might only lead to confusion among the public, especially those unfamiliar with standard procedures,” he added. (PNA)
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