Did foreign trade turnover exceed GDP in Azerbaijan?

Did foreign trade turnover exceed GDP in Azerbaijan?

CESD confirms that Official State Statistics Committee Figures Contradict Reality

According to Khalid Mikayilov , an economic expert at the Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD), the State Statistics Committee’s data on foreign trade turnover contradicts

that of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan and belies economic reality. Basic economic principles and real-world experience demonstrate that the volume of foreign trade turnover rarely exceeds GDP but it appears that it does in Azerbaijan.

According to the State Statistics Committee, the volume of foreign trade turnover in 2008 totaled 54.926 billion U.S. dollars. In the same year, GDP was 48 billion 852 million U.S. dollars. Based on the SSC’s data, it would appear that Azerbaijan exported more goods and services that it actually had, which is impossible, of course, both from an economic and logical point of view.

Mr. Mikayilov also noted a discrepancy between the data of the Central Bank data  and that of the SSC: “The Central Bank’s balance of payments of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2008” report states that  foreign trade turnover in 2008 was 38.161 billion U.S. dollars.  This means that there is a difference of 16.765 billion U.S. dollars between the data of SSC and that of the Central Bank

Mr. Mikayilov observed further errors relating to the SSC’s trade turnover data in 2006. Although the SSC’s data on the foreign trade turnover totaled 11.638 billion U.S. dollars, the figure in “the Central Bank’s balance of payment” was 18.283 billion 283 U.S. dollars. Furthermore, according to the Central Bank’s report, the amount of oil and gas exports alone in the foreign trade turnover constituted 12 billion.  This means that the idle oil and gas exports in 2006 were more than the total trade turnover.

Mr. Mikayilov says that although these discrepancies associated with the trade turnover might be considered technical errors, their recurrence  is an unpleasant surprise. No reasons offered by the State Statistics Committee for these errors could be a satisfactory explanation of such neglect in official reports.


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