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Written Answers. - Reconciling Statistical Information.

Wednesday, 12 June 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 466 No. 7

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 14. Mr. B. Ahern Information on Bertie Ahern Zoom on Bertie Ahern  asked the Taoiseach Information on John Bruton Zoom on John Bruton  whether it is possible to reconcile the GNP and GDP per capita figures given on page 80 of the Forfás report entitled Shaping our Future with the figures given to Deputy Ahern in his reply to a parliamentary question of 14 February 1996 and figures published by the EU Commission; and the reason for this discrepancy. [12047/96]

The Taoiseach: Information on John Bruton Zoom on John Bruton The figures given in reply to the parliamentary question by Deputy Ahern on Tuesday, 14 February 1996 were based on official Eurostat data for Gross Domestic Product published in Statistics in Focus — Economy and Finance 1996 — 1.

The data in current prices were presented in “Purchasing Power Standards” which is the most usual measure for international comparison. The data for Ireland were based on the latest official estimates compiled by CSO and remain unchanged. Some updating may since have been made to EU15 data: nothing further has been published however, and any revisions should not materially affect the results.

I am informed by Forfás that data given on page 80 of the report Shaping Our Future are derived as follows: GNP and GDP per capita figures for 1995 in Table 1.6 are derived from official 1994 figures and projected forward using ESRI estimates of growth in 1995 and are expressed in constant 1990 prices to [1853] allow comparisons over time. Figures in Table 1.6 for GNP and GDP per capita for the early 1980's are official CSO estimates for the year 1980 at constant 1990 prices.

The figures in Table 1.7 are derived from EU estimates of GDP in current prices (published in European Economy) which were adjusted using ECU exchange rates and, in the case of Ireland, adjusted pro-rata to reflect the difference between Ireland's GDP and GNP.

In summary, therefore, while the Forfás report has adopted CSO figures as a base, the authors have applied a variety of assumptions and transformations to those figures, in line with their view of current economic trends and, accordingly, they cannot be directly compared with the published official statistics.

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