Calculation maneuvers in national income

Calculation maneuvers in national income

The government is now obliged to include official figures and also deterioration that has been ongoing in the economy for a while. Serious revisions have been made in the Medium Term Program (OVP) targets released on the weekend. 

In the income per capita figures, on the other hand, it has been observed that a change of calculation has been introduced to show the figure as higher. This year’s declining income per capita figure was attempted to be hidden by a methodological change in calculation replacing the classic calculation with purchasing power parity. However, because of the high rate of population growth, because the growth rate remained at a low figure such as 3 percent and because of the hike in foreign exchange rates, naturally, the per capita national income went down on a dollar basis. The per capita income, which has been over $10,000 for years, would have dropped down to below $9,000 if the same method of calculation was used; so, a change in the calculation method was introduced. Making this change without announcing it beforehand and not issuing the former-method figures at the same time is a serious frivolousness. It is blatantly obvious that this path has been taken because of the approaching elections. 

In the new OVP, according to the purchase power parity, this year’s GDP is $1,516 trillion and the per capita income is $19,506. If calculated with the former method, with the growth rate targeted and the foreign exchange rates, then the income per capita should drop further; according to the new method of calculation, this figure increases to $20,313 in 2016. 

As a matter of fact, the fall in the income per capita figures is a consequence, in other words, of fundamental economic equilibriums disrupted; it is a reality that cannot be hidden anymore. 

In official figures 

In last year’s OVP, 4 percent growth was foreseen for 2015; this figure was changed to 3 percent in the new plan. For 2016, target growth was revised from 5 percent to 4 percent. It is obvious that even reaching this figure will be very difficult. The growth expectation of 2017 has been lowered to 4.5 percent from 5 percent. 

The inflation target for the end of 2015 was 6.3 percent; in the new OVP, this target was increased to 7.6 percent. For 2016, inflation went up from 5 percent to 6.5 percent; for 2017, this was increased from 5 percent to 5.5 percent. 

As a result of all these changes, the unemployment rate targeted for this year was revised to 10.5 percent from 9.5 percent. The unemployment rate for 2016 was increased from 9.2 percent to 10.3 percent; for 2017, from 9.1 percent to 10.2 percent. 

In last year’s OVP, 2015 exports were $173 billion but this was revised sharply to become $143 billion. The 2016 exports were lowered from $187.4 billion to $150 billion; for 2017, from $203.4 billion to $170 billion. On the other hand, the import figure was revised as $208.4 billion from $258 billion for this year, for 2016, from $276.8 billion to $216.3 billion and for 2017 this figure has been lowered to $239.6 billion from $297.5 billion.   

We do hope that economic balances are re-set, a constant high growth is achieved and per capita incomes actually increase without resorting to figure maneuvers.