Questions Remain over India’s GDP

Ashish Kumar, the head of India’s statistics office, has faced two months of questioning about how a new way of measuring GDP created the world’s fastest-growing major economy overnight.  It’s unlikely to end any time soon.

Until early February, when Kumar’s office changed the way it measures economic activity, India was enduring its weakest run of growth since the mid-1980s. Now it is outpacing China, having grown an annual 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

Policymakers were flummoxed by the statistical transformation, particularly as the revised data was released without a historical series, making it hard to put the number in context or understand what it was saying about the economy.