Economy, Business And Markets

Expert Disagrees With HCS Decision

Expert Disagrees With  HCS DecisionExpert Disagrees With  HCS Decision

The former deputy of legal affairs at the Central Bank of Iran voiced opposition to a recent decision by the High Council of Statistics (approved on June 9) that the Statistical Center of Iran should be the “sole official” entity in charge of gathering information and releasing data on inflation, GDP growth and unemployment.

Heydar Mostakhdemin Hosseini regards revoking the CBI’s privilege in this regard as a wrong decision because the regulator “is in charge of providing national accounts and economic statistics for national use and making them accessible to international centers like International Monetary Fund and World Bank,” ISNA quoted him as saying on Sunday.

He suggested that CBI continue to release statistics on macroeconomic indicators to provide national accounts and leave microeconomic statistics to be gathered and published by the SCI at the provincial scale.

Hosseini noted that to help improve CBI’s independence, the bank should be authorized to provide statistics independent of administrative considerations.

“Such data would then be reliable for local experts as well as foreign specialists.”

He added that academic articles in the field of economics and finance, published at the national and international levels are based on the data provided by CBI, adding that CBI’s statistics are globally recognized. “However, SCI’s data are of doubtful validity,” he noted.

Although reliability of CBI’s statistics has weakened nationwide over the last decade due to the state’s intervention in inflation calculation, the expert believes that CBI can resume its previous position if it promotes its statistical methods. “Central bank has been viewed as the main reference for economic statistics since 1960,” he noted.

In developed countries, there are privately-owned research centers accountable for data gathering, analyzing and publishing, but their central banks are still in charge of releasing statistics. However, he noted that such centers would complement central banks’ reports.

“Although Iran needs to establish an independent private entity to provide such statistics, it has a long way to reach this goal. Thus, making SCI the sole data provider is not an appropriate decision,” he concluded.