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Ecama faults data reporting disparities

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

THULA—Incentivise savers

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama), a grouping of economists in the country, has lamented misrepresentation of economic data—saying it affects interpretation.

Ecama Executive Director, Maleka Thula, said this in Lilongwe on Tuesday at a workshop his organisation co-organised with JTI Malawi for economists, financial variable, data reporting and research experts.

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He said some economic indicators are misreported and some required data are not readily available to the public.

Thula said economic growth figures should always tally with situation on the ground.

“The economy has been reported to have been growing for the past five years or so; we have had a 4 percent growth on average.

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“But levels of poverty have been increasing. Inequalities over the years have been increasing, so the question is; are we really growing at the rates that we are reporting?” wondered Thula.

He said this stems from concerns over quality and accuracy of data given.

He also wondered if institutions responsible data compilation were independent and not influenced by other institutions and arms.

JTI Malawi Corporate Affairs and Communications Director, Limbani Kakhome, said the the training was timely.

“We have been working with Ecama since last year to develop a dashboard of key indicators that a business like ours can use. The ultimate goal is to have credible data provided,” Kakhome said.

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