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BBS to publish quarterly GDP data

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 17 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
BBS to publish quarterly GDP data

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Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) has taken an initiative to publish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data on quarterly basis to help better planning. 

BBS now publishes GDP data yearly basis compiling data of total GDP size, growth in economic output, inflation and some other important economic indicators. A country’s economic situation can be assumed from GDP and national income data.                 

"The work on preparing quarterly growth statistics will start likely from this quarter and we'll gradually step into a new system. Alongside this, the existing system of making public the annual statistics will also continue," Planning Minister MA Mannan said on Thursday.

The state statistics agency is implementing a project called ‘Modernisation of National Account Statistics to make available GDP data in every three months.

Mannan was addressing a stakeholder consultation workshop as the chief guest on “Quarterly National Accounts” organized by BBS at its auditorium in the capital on Thursday.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam spoke on the occasion as the special guest chaired by Statistics and Informatics Division Secretary Muhammad Yamin Chowdhury. BBS Director General Md Tajul Islam also spoke.

Mannan said necessary approval from the head of the government has already been taken for revealing quarterly information on GDP and the BBS would accordingly do that.

He said once the data on quarterly GDP is available, it would also help to know the financial health of the country.

The Planning Minister was confident that BBS officials are capable of preparing the growth statistics on quarterly basis as they have necessary skills, experience and wisdom.

He also assured that the Statistics Division and the BBS would get all necessary support including technological and financial ones from the government to carry out such kind of work.

Mannan suggested BBS to keep in touch with the peer countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar as Bangladesh has cultural similarity with those countries.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said this quarterly accounts will help the government prepared for  any kind of economic anomalies.

"If GDP falls in a specific quarter or prices rise beyond normal trend, then the government could take measures necessary for restoring the GDP or smoothing the prices through allowing imports in the next quarter," he noted.

Dr Shamsul Alam said the BBS can start accounting regional or district GDP as it will help districts that are less productive and prone to economic vulnerability to be more productive and prosperous by addressing through ADP interventions.

"Finally, the data of quarterly accounts of GDP must be available immediately after a quarter ends so that the data use can be fruitful and pertinent for all.  If it fails to deliver the data in time,  it’s relevancy will be lost”. He added.

Tajul Islam said the initiative will only be successful if all the agencies help BBS by proving quarterly economic data. 

The workshop was informed that currently the importance of quarterly GDP is recognized throughout the world while there is also a demand for quarterly GDP from different domestic and international agencies and from users of macroeconomic aggregates.

Bangladesh first started GDP calculation considering 1972-73 fiscal year as the base year. In recent years, Bangladesh has made socio-economic progress alongside achieving higher economic growth.  

In this context, BBS has felt the urgency of estimating quarterly GDP and it is expected that quarterly GDP estimation would be an integral part of regular activities of BBS.