Rebasing and revision of gross domestic product (GDP) of Bangladesh

  • This study analysed how to help the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) find ways of improving its national accounts statistics.
  • Extensive discussions were held with the BBS staff in order to identify the areas of weaknesses in the existing procedures and suggest remedies.
  • The study finds that current methodologies are seriously constrained by lack of up-to-date data, which stems mainly from lack of coordination among different wings of the BBS.

The project was undertaken in response to a specific request from the Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee set up by the Government of Bangladesh to oversee the forthcoming exercise on rebasing and revision of national accounts of Bangladesh to be undertaken by the BBS in the near future. The Chairman of the committee requested the present researcher to take stock of the current methodologies employed by the BBS and suggest modifications/improvements thereof as a precursor of the revision exercise to be undertaken by BBS so that the quality of the BBS exercise could be improved.

National accounts estimates – both overall and sectoral estimates, including estimates of savings, investment, etc – form essential inputs into all kinds of policymaking by various government agencies.

The research was based on (a) detailed interviews with the BBS staff engaged with the estimation of national accounts and other independent experts who have worked with national accounts in Bangladesh, (b) review of various documents – published or otherwise produced by BBS in connection with national accounts, and (c) review of international best practices with regard to national accounts estimation, including a thorough review of the guidelines provided by the latest version of the System of National Accounts (SNA) produced by the United Nations.