PM asks statistics office to improve macro-economic analysis, forecasting

January 07, 2020 - 08:20

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asked the General Statistics Office (GSO) to improve macro-economic analysis and forecasting while addressing a conference to launch tasks for the sector this year in Hà Nội on January 6.


Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaks to GSO staff at a meeting on Monday in Hà Nội. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asked the General Statistics Office (GSO) to improve macro-economic analysis and forecasting while addressing a conference to launch tasks for the sector this year in Hà Nội on January 6.

He stressed the importance of the GSO's mission to collect data and report on the unobserved economy and to keep up-to-date with modern global standards for statistics and IT.

He told the GSO to press ahead with the plan on reforming the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) compilation process so as to provide high-quality statistics for provinces and cities. The Government’s top official said he personally looked forward to the office’s findings and reports at the end of each month.

PM Phúc urged the GSO to focus on improving its core functions, which were to gather important social and economic data in an accurate and timely manner and to issue warnings and forecasts for Government ministries and agencies.

The sector needs to align statistical methods with international practices; consider applying new methods to reduce the shortage of statistical information about the economy’s productivity, quality and efficiency, unobserved economic activities, and emerging issues; and perfect the criteria for monitoring and assessing the economic restructuring and growth model reform in the 2016-20 period, he noted.

PM Phúc also requested the GSO to keep enhancing cooperation with national statistics agencies of developed countries, United Nations organisations, development partners and ASEAN nations, so as to access and apply new international statistical standards, thus improving data quality and raising the sector’s stature in the region and the world.

He also asked GSO top officials to invest in developing the office’s human resources and creating incentives to attract talents to the field. 

Charged with the task of providing ministries and governmental agencies as well as enterprises with data regarding Việt Nam’s economy and demographics, the office conducted some 30 specialised surveys and general surveys in 2019, said GSO head Nguyễn Bích Lâm.

Lâm said the GSO's highlight in 2019 had been the revision of Việt Nam's GDP in the 2010-17 period .

The revised GDP reflected more accurately and comprehensively Việt Nam’s economic activities and the role the country was playing in regional and global commerce. The GSO’s data had helped the Government produce sound policies and ultimately improve people’s welfare, Lâm added.

The office employed the latest IT and applications to produce faster and more accurate data, said Lâm, adding Việt Nam was among the first countries in the world to equip its surveyors with mobile devices.

Technology had helped build a system in which the GSO was able to gather and process data faster and more efficiently. It had significantly improved the office’s performance with data for the 2019 Việt Nam Population and Housing Census announced 12 months earlier compared to how long it took for the census to compile in 2009.

The International Labour Organisation estimated that in 2016, the rate of informal employment in Việt Nam accounted for about 57.2 per cent of non-agricultural workers, and as many as 76.7 per cent of informal workers engaged in employment without any form of written labour contracts.

The size of the unobserved economy in Việt Nam had been estimated to account for 18.7 per cent of GDP from 1991-2015, according to economist Võ Trí Thành at the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and a member of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council.

In January 2018, the International Monetary Fund published a paper which measured the shadow economy of 158 countries all over the world from 1991 to 2015. The paper showed that the average size of the unobserved economy of those countries was 31.9 per cent, with the largest being Bolivia (62.3 per cent of GDP) and the smallest being Switzerland (7.2 per cent). — VNS