An Analysis of Revisions to Annual GDP Estimates of Six ADB Regional Members
This paper analyzes the histories of revisions of official annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates for six regional members of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)—People’s Republic of China; India; Indonesia; Republic of Korea; Taipei,China; and Thailand—for the period 1990–2004 as computed from successive editions of ADB’s flagship annual statistical publication, Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific. A number of revisions indicators for each economy are computed. The results show that first published estimates of annual real GDP growth rates in all the six economies are revised upward 3 years later and in the latest period. Most of the six economies also experienced positive revisions to estimates of annual real GDP growth rates in the first, second, third, and latest years after their initial release. Revisions to first published estimates of annual real GDP growth rates a year later tend to be mostly small, although there are some outliers. In all the six economies, the size of the mean absolute revisions to the first published estimates of annual real GDP growth rates is nontrivial. All the six economies also have rather low relative mean absolute revisions to initial estimates of annual real GDP growth rates published a year later, implying that the first published estimates are generally robust for the purpose of assessing the current performance of these economies. The mean squared revisions for most of the six economies tend to be rather low. This implies that there may not be much volatility in the revisions to initial estimates of annual real GDP growth rates in these economies. Mean revisions in the first, second, third, and latest years in Indonesia are statistically significant, while the People’s Republic of China and Taipei,China have mean revisions that are statistically significant for the latest period.
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