Penzastat head replies to Georgy Kamnev in open letter
Penza, 13 April 2015. PenzaNews. The head of the Penza region Federal State Statistics Service (Penzastat) has sent PenzaNews agency an open letter to Georgy Kamnev, deputy of the Penza region Legislative Assembly, first secretary of the Communist Party regional committee, on behalf of the staff of the institution. In this letter, the official expressed outrage over the politician’s remarks on the development of the Penza region in 2014.
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PenzaNews agency provides the letter below in full.
“Dear comrade Kamnev! The Penza region territorial body of the Federal State Statistics Service would like to express our utmost outrage at your statistical evaluations (published via PenzaNews agency) of the development of the Penza region in 2014, unprofessional comments on economic and social events, accusation of statisticians in falsifying the results, and, most importantly, gross distortion of official figures of statistic.
“In particular, your commentary says the 2014 investment volume index is at 79.1%, when in reality is has reached 100.3%. In your rating, people are more likely to emigrate rather than immigrate, but the official 2014 statistic shows the immigration surpasses emigration by 420 persons. ‘At present, the agricultural industry holds only a 10.3% share in internal regional product structure,’ says your commentary, but this is the 2013 figure.
“Focused on the chase of your political ambitions, you have distorted the 2014 industrial production index ratings in the Volga Federal District and mixed up Mordovia with Chuvashiya. Without anything to back up your claims, you confidently said the statistics service is unable to gather any information about potatoes grown in dachas and individual gardens, while we, and even the whole Russia, have been doing that (the federal statistics instructions are the same for any part of the state).
“You claim our 2014 export was below Mordovia, while the Volga Customs Department says otherwise! (Penza region: $110.2 million, Mordovia: $98 million).
“Along with blatantly falsified examples, your commentary is overrun with loose and inaccurate economic guesses and conclusions.
“For example, you were trying to find the direct connection between growth of industrial production and consumed energy resources, while not knowing or hiding the knowledge (and both things are very bad for a regional Legislative Assembly deputy) that energy consumption of companies accounts only for slightly above 30% of overall consumption levels, while the rest comes from outside the region. So, comrade Kamnev, if you wanted to conduct a more thorough macroeconomic analysis, you should have researched the overall consumption levels, not just energy output like you did, while comparing it to the industrial production fluctuation.
“Overall, your commentary raises many questions on basic use of statistics! Let me quote you. ‘But there is also a drop: by 1.7% (in rubles),’ you proclaim. Is there anybody anywhere who counts shipping in rubles?!
“The Russian statistics, the European statistics, the statistics of other countries of the world under the UN Statistical Commission (that coordinates the worldwide statistics system) uses tons for all calculations.
“The actual 2014 shipping volumes have reached 108.1% to the 2013 levels. (The commentary of comrade Kamnev says 98.3%, in rubles).
“I would rather not offend comrade Kamnev: after all, he is an official, a leader of one of the most well-known political parties. But this reminds me of a classical Odessa comic sketch: ‘why, I did not win but lost, and not the lottery but a billiards game.’ Here, it should say: ‘not fell but rose, and not in rubles but in tons.’
“And one more completely baffling conclusion by comrade Kamnev: ‘Oil and oil products shipping dropped by 18.4% in tons. The last figure is the one that we should use to define the actual shipping rate drop in the Penza region.’ See above.
“Firstly, the shipping never dropped. Secondly, how are oil products related to the regional economy? We do not have a single oil processing facility!
“Moreover, comrade Kamnev’s outrage over the increase of non-food goods in the Penza region trade evokes nothing but disappointment. All over the world such a trend is considered positive and shows balanced development of any regional subject of economy.
“And the fish industry claim is even worse than that!
“Indeed, now we hear that improvements harm… But whom? The population benefits from it! While you, it seems, do not! The absurdity of your conclusions is off the charts: there is a stable positive trend of fish production in the region, and the statistic figures that diligently show it, and you are disappointed! Eight years ago, we produced 197 tons of fish, and we made 1,569 tons in 2014. And the potential for this parameter is good! And everything will be accounted for with exact precision, whether you like it or not!
“And, in conclusion (my apologies to the readers), I feel obliged to explain comrade Kamnev the very basics of the statistic method.
“Currently, the statistic comparison method has nothing better than comparison with the baseline of a time period. If the base is low, the result is higher purely mechanically, if the base is high – the result is lower. In such cases, we are not even adding any explanations, since we think this will offend those who use our statistics. And not putting any explanation was our mistake! Otherwise, how would comrade Kamnev be surprised? ‘Each month before October was very mundane. And then suddenly the index started growing through the three last month, 20% each time,’ this is the commentary author’s mundane explanation on industry in 2014. Georgy Petrovich! First of all, as a deputy and a politician, you have to know the main baseline points of industrial economy and monitor the performance of such companies as ‘Asia-Cement,’ ‘Elektropribor,’ ‘Lerom,’ ‘Mayak,’ ‘Molkom’ and others.
“Secondly, if you are surprised by the results, take a look at the previous ones: what was the baseline there? In particular, in August 2014, where comrade Kamnev claims the ‘results were unremarkable,’ the industrial growth was at 102.9%, while it was at 110.2% in August 2013. The baseline was very high.
“And, on the other hand, November shows 118.9% – very high! But November 2013 showed 102.3%. October 2014 – 118.8%, October 2013 – 101.7%; September 2014 – 108.1%, September 2013 – 95.7%. The baseline was very low.
“And the last comment is on your remark that something ‘seems strange,’ about ‘processing industries’ by the end of the year. Yes, on their own, the results were high: November – 121.8%, October – 120.8%. But: 2013, November – 102.7%, October – 101.7%. The principle is the same: the base is low, the rating is high.
“One must research the statistics using the previous information as well, which is what our users do.
“Well, seems like I explained it all, and now you, comrade Kamnev, should understand it as well. If you still have difficulties, Penzastat will be releasing a mass-produced teaching book “Statistics – Basics” this month. Feel free to ask!
“P.S. Actual information for this year.
“The Penza region territorial body of the Federal State Statistics Service has drawn up the results of industry production for Q1 2015.
“The industrial production index (IPI) for the main types of economic activity has reached 105.4%, and grew by 2.1 percentage points during the last month.
“In March, the index was at 108.1%. For comparison, the regional IPI was at 103.3% in February.
“The main defining industry type is ‘processing industry,’ with IPI for Q1 2015 at 107% (104.9% during January-February). In March, it got a result of 109.2%.
“By the end of Q1 2015, the Penza region holds the 5th place among the regions of the Volga Federal District in IPI levels.
“The leaders are Mariy El with 125.2%, Kirov region with 111.1%, Saratov region with 110.4%. The industry went below 100% in Q1 in six regions (Tatarstan, Nizhny Novgorod region, Perm Krai, Orenburg region, Chuvashiya and Mordovia).
“On behalf the staff members of the Penza region Federal State Statistics Service, head S.A. Shemenev.”