The head of Rosstat said about the case of “interference” in the statistics

Alexander Surinov

Photo: Gleb Schelkunov / Kommersant

The independence of the Rosstat is guaranteed by the law on statistics, and in this sense the service is protected from external pressure, said head of Rosstat Alexander Surinov in the course of the presentation changes in the methodology Department. He remembered only one thing for 19 years the case of “wishes” from the “big boss”

Independent statistics

Work Rosstat protected by the law from external pressure, assured the head of service Alexander Surinov in anticipation of the relocation of his Department to the Ministry of economic development. “Today, the pressure can be regarded as a violation of the law,” said Surinov, answering the question of RBC in the course of the presentation changes in statistical methodology.

During the work in Rosstat since 1998, according to Surinov, he was confronted only once with a “wish” from the “big boss” — estimate annual inflation the day before the end of the year. Rosstat, the price growth calculated on December 31, on that the other person Surinov, according to him, said, “it would be Better that a little inflation was lower than last year. You are not able to make gifts to superiors before the New year.” As stated by Suriname, it is “the only negativity”, which he listened to for all time. Discontent due to the fact that Rosstat is something not taken into account in their calculations, but this “professional conversation”, he added.

Rosstat needs to take advantage of new opportunities in the transition to the Ministry of economic development, the head of Rosstat. “I have experience with the Ministry. To be honest, this experience was difficult, when we grind the last of life,” he said. However, after that Rosstat and Ministry of economic development worked without any problems, he said, adding that the transfer under the Ministry can help solve the problems of Rosstat.

So, Suriname recalled that the OECD pointed to a weak coordination of statistics in Russia. Another problem is funding, follows from the words of the head of Rosstat “If society wants to have good statistics, it is necessary to give resources. We still don’t know when and how to be a census in 2020. Statistics 2020 is tomorrow. We hope the Ministry that it will be easier to solve such problems”.

Suriname refused to say whether he will stay the head of Rosstat, noting that this question need not ask him.

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on resubordination of Rosstat, Ministry of economic development April 3, informed statslib was in charge of the government. The Ministry will develop a new strategy on development of Russian statistics until 2024, said Oreshkin. He assured that his Ministry in the coming months will not interfere in the work of Rosstat, and to oversee it personally. and not analytical units that are users of statistics.

The revisions have all

Suriname also responded to criticism of Rosstat in connection with the revisions of the data. The Agency, in particular, moved to the methodology of SNA 2008 by including in the composition of GDP military equipment reusable items imported for resale, and the results of scientific research and development. Due to this, the Russian statistics are now comparable with those of other countries, said Surinov. “The idea of the development of national accounting is that expanding the boundaries of production, expanding the scope of operations, which are included in the calculation of macroeconomic indicators and, of course, the main indicator of GDP,” — said the head of Rosstat. The Department also included in its calculations “heavy subject” — it is beginning to consider the value of household services that is essentially the service that “receives or provides the owner himself,” said Surinov. Many economists regard it as a virtual Supplement to GDP, but “it is done in all countries,” and Russia maintains an international practice, said the head of Rosstat.

Statistical data are often revised in other countries, Surinov said, citing the example of data on U.S. GDP for the year 2008 whose assessment has been changed several times.

Of the claims to Rosstat concerns the lack of quarterly data for some accounts. Statistics in all countries are always faced with a choice — to prepare the data or quickly, or efficiently, said Surinov. Gradually Rosstat will increase the number of calculated areas of figures, he added.

Revisions to data “painful subject,” admitted Surinov: “in Today’s world selected this approach are first estimates, which are gradually being improved. And the reason for clarification is that there are new data sources that need to be considered”. Revisions of GDP in 2015-2016 associated with the updating of production data in a small business, Treasury, new classifiers and errors of the respondents.

As for new codes, this should have been done a few years ago, said the head of Rosstat. Since the beginning of the year, the office began using a new classification of economic activities (ОКВЭД2) and the classification of products by economic activities (ОКПД2). “These codes are used in most countries of the world,” said Surinov.

Maxim Oreshkin called “extremely unsuccessful” transition to new methodology. In particular, in his opinion, the February data that showed industrial output, was unrepresentative.

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