Friday, May 29, 2009

Peru first quarter GDP growth +1.8%

Oh really?

Yesterday the politically motivated liars at Peru's INEI statistics office came out with their GDP fabrication for the first quarter of this year. The +1.8% is a full 3.3% higher than the number that would have popped out before the "improvement" in methodology that was secretly brought in by Twobreakfasts in 2007 and is still a black box. Local economist and all-round good egg Bruno Seminario is now tracking the numbers using the old method and has Peru's GDP at -1.5% for the quarter. Plenty of other commentators that know the real story are lining up to cast serious doubt on the INEI figures, too. But in the end plain common sense says that Peru isn't growing this year. No numbers needed.

The true number is probably somewhere between the two figures. On the one hand there is reason to credit things like internet commerce and a more active banking system in a revised method. But on the other hand, as Seminario rightly points out, "An economy that grows via the service sector is always suspicious."

That Twobreakfasts is manipulating the figures is undeniable for all expect his most ardent fans (and with a 29% approval rating there aren't many of them around). The only question is "by how much?".