November 18 (LBO) – An online poll shows that more LBO readers believe the economic growth numbers generated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka than the Department of Census and Statistics, but a vast majority disbelieved both. The Central Bank data set has a slightly higher weight for agriculture, as a result the two government agencies report different numbers, contributing to public skepticism about national income accounting.
Out of the respondents to the poll 24.7 percent said they believed the Central Bank growth numbers, compared with 7.8 percent who believed the Census Department numbers.
But an overwhelming majority of 67 percent said they did not believe the GDP estimates of either agency.
The latest poll is about what LBO readers think about Sri Lanka achieving the revenue surplus promised in the 2007 budget.
Sri Lanka has not managed to generate a surplus in the revenue account since 1987, breaking the â€˜golden rule’ of budgeting which says that the government’s revenue must be at least enough to pay for day to day (current) expenses.