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BBS to provide quarterly GDP data

Published : 16 Sep 2021 10:24 PM | Updated : 16 Sep 2021 10:31 PM

Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) will provide quarterly GDP data instead of yearly for understanding, knowing, adopting and taking action on the economic activities.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) usually provides data on the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of a year. 

However, this time BBS has taken a plan to provide the GDP data four times a year or at every three month.

Besides, BBS will also give an account of district and regional GDP. This information was disclosed at a stakeholder consultation workshop on “Quarterly National Accounts” organised by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) on Thursday held at its auditorium in the capital.

Planning Minister MA Mannan attended the occasion as the chief guest while State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam was the special guest.

Muhammad Yamin Chowdhury, Statistics and Informatics Division Secretary, chaired the programme.

BBS Director General Md Tajul Islam spoke on the occasion.

Planning Minister MA Mannan said, alongside revealing the annual growth statistics, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is working to divulge GDP growth statistics on quarterly basis.

“The work on preparing quarterly growth statistics will start likely from this quarter and we'll gradually step into a new system. Alongside this, the existing system of making public the annual statistics will also continue,” he said.

Mannan said necessary approval from the head of the government has already been taken for revealing quarterly information on GDP and the BBS would accordingly do that.

He said once the data on quarterly GDP is available, it would also help to know the financial health of the country.

The Planning Minister said that the officials and other staff of the BBS are capable of preparing the growth statistics on quarterly basis as they have necessary skills, experience and wisdom.

He also assured that the Statistics Division and the BBS would get all necessary support including technological and financial ones from the government to carry out such kind of new task.

Mannan also asked the BBS officials to stay in touch with the peers in discharging their duties and responsibilities as the country has cultural similarity with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Myanmar.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said this is a red letter day for BBS as they are introducing quarterly national accounts for the first time. 

He said, this quarterly accounts will help the government to prepare for actions for any kind of economic anomalies. “If GDP falls in a specific quarter or prices rise beyond normal trend, then the government could take measures necessary for restoring the GDP or easing the prices through allowing imports in the next quarter.”

The State Minister also said that the BBS could start accounting regional or district GDP as it would help the districts that are less productive and prone to economic vulnerability to be more productive and prosperous by addressing through ADP interventions. 

“Finally, the data of quarterly accounts of GDP must be available immediately after a quarter ends so that the data use could be fruitful and pertinent to all. If it fails to deliver the data in time, its relevancy will be lost”, he added.

The workshop was informed that currently the importance of quarterly GDP is recognised throughout the world while there is also a demand for quarterly GDP from different domestic and international agencies and from users of macroeconomic aggregates.

Against this backdrop, the BBS feels a dire need to estimate quarterly GDP and it is expected that quarterly GDP estimation would be an integral part of regular activities of BBS.