Business & Economy

Japan says it overstated GDP component since 2013

Tokyo, Dec 15 (EFE).- Japan said Wednesday it had for years overstated construction sector orders in the country, used to determine its Gross Domestic Product, which could have resulted in a wrong calculation of the country’s main national economic indicator.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called it a “regrettable” error – of which the exact impact on Japan’s GDP figures is currently unknown – during a Lower House Budget Committee held Wednesday.

“We must make efforts so that it is never repeated again. We will urgently study the events so far and the measures to be taken so that it does not happen again,” the conservative Japanese leader said.

Kishida also said the incorrect accounts “do not directly affect the GDP data for fiscal years 2020 and 2021,” because since 2020 “improvements were made” in the statistics on the national economy compiled by the cabinet office.

The government announced the error after Japanese newspaper Asahi reported the Territory, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry had “rewritten” data on construction sector demand of about 12,000 companies since 2013.

The responsible Minister Tetsuo Saito said the practice consisted of recording construction order data corresponding to a period greater than that comprised by GDP.

“It is very regrettable and I apologize for it,” he said Wednesday during the Parliamentary Committee.

The scale of the problem remains unclear, which according to the newspaper would have inflated the real figures provided by companies, although experts said its impact on GDP statistics would be practically irrelevant.

The Japanese economy contracted 0.9 percent between July and September compared to the previous quarter, according to Dec. 8 figures, due to the weakness of consumption derived from the pandemic. In annual terms, Japan’s GDP expanded by 1.2 percent in the period. EFE


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