8.9% Growth?

by Nathan Hamm on 10/18/2004 · 4 comments

UzA reports 8.9% growth and 0.3% inflation for the first nine months of 2004 in Uzbekistan. Here’s more of a breakdown.

Growth of industrial production comprised 10.2%, agricultural production 14.2%, investments in main capital 3%, transport and service sector 9% in January-September.

Exports increased 34.6%.

Now, I’m no economist. My first test for this kind of data is the whiff test. If it smells like b.s., it usually is, especially when the source has a stake in putting a sunny face on economic data.

That being said, I’ve been wrong about my doubts of Uzbek economic data in the past. In fact, some argue that derision of Uzbek economic policy should be reconsidered.

Anecdotal evidence of economic change in Uzbekistan would be appreciated (like this post from Alisher).

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Laurence October 18, 2004 at 5:33 pm

Nathan, Based on teaching across the street from the Center for Economic Research and near the Ministry of Statistics, I don’t think the numbers from the Uzbek government are too reliable, generally speaking…

Nathan Hamm October 18, 2004 at 6:27 pm

9% still doesn’t pass my whiff test. OTOH, when your economy has receded so much, a little improvement in a big percentage.

Still, I think I could only believe something in the 3-4% range.

Alisher October 19, 2004 at 7:55 am

I think it is something to do with the statistical methods they use. I dont know the details, though. In fact, what I think is that the Uzbek economy currently is becoming somewhat dichotomic, with some governement supported sectors which are expanding rapidly, (ex, telecommunications), and others which are stagnating or declining. As for statistics, I would take cautiously even the statistics of INSEE or the FED,or the World Bank with their sophisticated methodology, let alone the source mentioned in the article.

Nathan October 19, 2004 at 10:38 am

That there are pretty much two economies makes any growth numbers somewhat misleading.

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