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southafrica - Economist.com Page 1 of 1 South Africa's...

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South Africa's economy Oops, I did it again Jun 17th 2004 | JOHANNESBURG From The Economist print edition The bean-counters find more beans ONCE is unlucky: twice looks careless. Last June Statistics South Africa, the government agency that puts out the country's official economic data, admitted it had greatly overstated inflation for several months because of a glitch in measuring rents. The figures were revised and inflation, which was dropping anyway, is now comfortably inside its target range of 3-6%. Still, the error had probably caused interest rates to be kept too high for too long. Now the official statisticians are in trouble once more, this time for misjudging the size of the economy. On June 11th the finance minister, Trevor Manuel, told parliament that GDP “is currently understated, and economic growth has been somewhat faster than the official numbers indicate.” The reason is that official surveys of business activity are out of date and the weighting given to growth in some sectors is wrong.
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