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Press release, 02.04.2015.

Press release of Hungarian Central Statistical Office: Stake of judging gross domestic product (GDP)

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) is shocked by the news about the uninitiated use of its data, and especially so if that comes from circles where a minimum professional expertise is susceptible. The Office has suffered several manifestations of this character following the release of the latest gross domestic product (GDP) data. Last time, when the forecast of Pénzügykutató Zrt. on 26 March was presented, researchers were said to “feel that HCSO data do not harmonise either with facts in every respect”, as reported by an internet portal. More specifically: “However, when calculating nominal GDP, HCSO worked with data the soundness of which is strongly doubted in professional circles, and statisticians have owed a satisfactory explanation to date – stated on behalf of Pénzügykutató.”

HCSO stated its case in a statement already on 13 March 2015, the day after the first “damning” tones, which is accessible on the homepage of the Office. It points out in detail in this, by presenting the methodology applied, the lack of the professional grounding of objections giving grounds for “doubts”. That is: statisticians have not “owed” a satisfactory explanation for thirteen days . The brief report issued two weeks ago also reveals that the so-called experts are wrong when they think that in GDP calculations statisticians apply some kind of a “deflator”, at the aid of which they would revise any other data. The methodology underpinned with international professional recommendations and legislation follows an opposite procedure. In constant price calculations detailed calculations are made by product groups or economic branches using base price indices of the relevant domains, and then the sum of detailed data calculated into constant prices equals the value of GDP at constant prices.

Methodological requirements are consistently observed by HCSO staff. Those who doubt it either in the lack of the knowledge of the applied procedures or consciously, with harmful intention, place both HCSO and the statistical community in a false light. The indicator of gross domestic product (GDP) is too significant a macro-economic indicator and the unbroken confidence in HCSO is too much an important issue for the Office to tolerate pseudo-professional accusations made by anybody with the purpose of discrediting. Therefore, the Hungarian Central Statistical Office rejects the unfounded accusations of both the press organs concerned (HVG, ATV, nol.hu) and Tamás Mellár, Pál Belyó and Mária Zita Petschnig the most resolutely.

Hungarian Central Statistical Office

H-1024 Budapest, Keleti Károly u. 5-7. Phone: +36 (1) 345 6000
Postal address: P.O.B. 51 Budapest, H-1525