Transparency is guide to new economic report


Ms Ah-Time (left) and Ms Abel  during the interview

Principal statistician Laura Ah-Time of the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) gave details yesterday of its contents, which were further explained by Caroline Abel, head of the Monetary Analysis and Statistics Division of the Central Bank.

They said it is important for the public to understand such terms as gross domestic product (GDP), and national accounts need to be published so as to measure, for example, the level of economic activity in the country as well as economic growth.

“They also provide the basis for the compilation of other important economic performance indicators such as GDP per capita, debt or investment to GDP ratios, as well as the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio,” said Ms Ah-Time.

She said they also show savings, the ratio of imports and exports to GDP and the current ratio of external account deficit to GDP. 
“GDP measures the level of economic activity in volume terms after removing the effects of price increases in the economy during one year,” she said.

Information for the NSA comes from private sector financial statements to the tax office, while direct financial data is got from the Ministry of Finance, commercial banks and the Central Bank’s records, as well as from market parastatals and selected large private firms.

The NSB, which publishes the bulletin, also gets data from employment and trade statistics, production surveys, tourism statistics and household surveys.

“We also get information from the Seychelles International Business Authority on the operations of companies in the Seychelles International Trade Zone, and balance of payments data compiled by the Central Bank,” said Ms Ah-Time.
The publication is the second in the series of annual national accounts figures released by the NSB after the launch of the project in 2007.

The contribution of tourism-related activities to the total national product is shown, and for the first time a GDP-by-production table has been compiled to show the contribution of fisheries to the total GDP.

The bulletin shows that after four consecutive years of positive growth, Seychelles’ economy recorded a negative growth (-0.9%) in 2008.

In terms of growth rates in real GDP, there was a 6.6% growth in 2005, which is lower than the previously published 7.5%. The years 2006 and 2007 recorded growths of 9.3% and 9.7%, compared to the previously published 8.3% and 7.3%.
There has been an increase in the absolute level of GDP in both current market prices and
constant 2006 prices, compared to previously published estimates for the years 2004-2007.

People can get copies of the bulletin from the NSB’s offices at Caravelle House, ask for copies to be emailed to them or read the publication on the website

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