Vietnam to improve accuracy of statistical data with new release schedule

The Government’s Decree No.62/2024/ND-CP, effective as of August 1, 2024, stipulates the schedule to publish important figures of state statistical units.


Accordingly, the new dates for popular statistics are as follows:

  • The official consumer price index (CPI) figures are disseminated on the 6th of the month following the reporting month instead of the current 29th day of each month (or the last day of February);
  • The estimated figures for the proportion of trained laborers with qualifications and the unemployment rate are published on the 6th of the month following the reporting quarter;
  • The socio-economic reports for each month, quarter 1, quarter 2 and the first half of the year, quarter 3 and the first 9 months of the year, quarter 4 and the whole year are released on the 6th of the month following the reporting period;
  • The time to announce figures related to GDP and GRDP are correspondingly adjusted.

Experts in the field commented that this amendment is essential to increase the precision of statistical data.

So far, in order to timely disseminate statistics on the 29th day of each month (or the last day of February), the steps of data collection and compilation at district and provincial levels must be done sooner before giving the figures to the central statistical agency for final verification. Therefore, most of these data are estimated ones, leading to inevitably low accuracy and inability to reflect reality.

For instance, the statistics for companies and individual business establishments must be gathered from the 1st to 12th each month, resulting in an estimation for two-thirds of the time of the reporting month. A similar long estimation of at least half of a month happens in the fields of agriculture, forestry, and fishery. More seriously, a semi-annual report depends largely on survey results from the previous year.

It is worth mentioning that amending the regulations on the time of data publication is only a necessary step but not sufficient to ensure that the statistics reflect reality more accurately like the case of a tourism industry conference recently, when many tour operators expressed their confusion about the very "promising" data from some local tourism departments.

Assoc Prof Dr Pham Trung Luong, former Vice Chairman of the Institute for Tourism Development Research, the reason for those unexpected data comes from misunderstandings of the local tourism units in calculating the quantity of tourists staying in the locality or merely passing by. Since these figures did not reflect reality, it is a tough challenge to devise future policies to boost the industry properly while businesses in the field lose their trust in those reports and become more frustrated.

Obviously, statistical activities play a very important role in state management. Therefore, statistical products increasingly must ensure a sufficient level of information, transparency, timeliness, in-depth analysis as well as easy synthesis to help units and individuals use data in and outside the country for comparison.

In addition, deviations in statistical data due to intentional causes such as the wish to exaggerate achievements or to cover up other calculations can only be cured by inspection, audit and strict sanctions.

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