National Statistical Office denies manipulating figures

Post was last updated: March 23, 2017

The National Statistical Office (NSO) has said the figures it produces are genuine and are not subject to any manipulations by any person. NSO has further denied allegations that politicians exert any influence on its operations.

Some quarters have been questioning the credibility of NSO figures, including computations on inflation.

The critics feel inflation figures presented by NSO do not reflect the reality on the ground.

But commenting on the issue, NSO Commissioner of Statistics Responsible for Economics Services Division, Lizzie Chikoti, said the office presents credible figures that are supposed to be used by the government and other stakeholders when planning where to put their resources.

She said the issue of cooking up figures at NSO does not exist as there are procedures that are followed to come up with either inflation figures or the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“We have heard such stories before but, all I can say is that those people who say NSO fabricates figures do not know our procedures. As NSO, our doors are open for those who would like to know or follow the procedures we use to come up with inflation figures and the CPI,” she said.

Chikoti said every month; officers from NSO are given money to buy various commodities from three different outlets in order to calculate the CPI.

She said the figures are produced independently without any hand from the government or political figures.

Chikoti further said much as the country has been performing poorly on inflation, future prospects remain positive.

“We have not done well on inflation regionally, but as of now, the rates have started improving and we are heading in the right direction. Since January, the inflation rate has been going down by two percentage points which is a good indication,” Chikoti said.

Currently, the inflation rate stands at 16.1 percent from 18.2 percent recorded in the month of February

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