We learned to count better

21 february 2017 | RBC-TV

The Federal Statistics Service transformed the industry downturn into its growth: the industrial production decreased by less than 1% in 2015 and increased by 1.3% in 2016, according to updated information of the agency. Mr. Gleb Pokatovich, Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, tells where this updated information comes from and how the new calculation methodology works in a broadcast of RBC-TV channel.

Gleb Pokatovich
Gleb Pokatovich
Deputy Head

Statistics give an average insight into the reality. “Someone eats meat, someone eats cabbages, but in average everybody eats stuffed cabbage leaves,” reminded the linkman Mr. Vladimir Vasilenko hinting at the ease with which the Federal Statistics Service changed the reports. “It is not so easy,” raised an objection Mr. Gleb Pokatovich, Deputy Head of the Analytical Centre.” They have been working to change the National Classifier of Economic Activities (OKVED) for the last 2 years, and it was not an easy stroke of the pen.” The strength of the Federal Statistics Service is its methodology, said the expert. The changes in OKVED require that all businesses explain in more details and more reasonably what they do.  

The new Classifier is more detailed and hence it allows analyzing with a higher quality, clarified Mr. Pokatovich. “For example, the paper production and the publishing business were the same industry for a long period. Now these businesses are separated and we better understand how they work,” explained the expert. Mr. Pokatovich emphasized that the adjusted methodology accounted for around a fourth of the changes, while their main source was in receiving additional data collected for a long period. We do not speak of simple redistribution within the existing classifiers. “An item that used to include one apple, now may have several peas, an orange and an acorn. With the new approach, we will understand more accurately both trends and industrial sections,” noted Mr. Pokatovich, adding that this related not only to the industry: in a few days we would see a monthly report of the Federal Statistics Service showing prices and consumption trends that would be also influenced by the new Classifier.  

Due to implementing OKVED-2, all businesses will have to classify themselves as belonging to a particular class or group. “General knowledge will become better, the Classifier will be comparable with an European one, and we will better understand where we are versus developed countries with which we so like to compare ourselves. It is a natural process. We learned to count better: we took into account something we did not see before and saw something new,” summed up Mr. Pokatovich.