Problems on the construction site
The main reason for the discrepancies was the problem with the collection of data on the dynamics of the construction, said in Rosstat. According to the chief of Department of statistics of construction, investment and housing and communal services of Nina Vlasenko, from January to September, the volume of investments increased primarily in the construction sector (17.1%), health and social services (13.6%), agriculture, forestry, hunting, fishing and fish farming (12.6%).
However, despite the fact that investment in construction grew in the third quarter, the dynamics of the construction work fell 0.4% in the period from January to September, a decline of 0.7% in annual terms, follows from the data of Rosstat.
According to Nina Vlasenko, inconsistencies appear due to several reasons. Firstly, because respondents provide operational reporting in a very short time, “often in the absence of complete data for the primary and accounting”.
As a legal entity must submit data no later than 4 digits after the reporting month, “many large companies are forced to report the preliminary data and to correct them in the report of the subsequent month.” According to Rosstat, the error in the present scope of construction works at monthly and quarterly reports is from 5% to 15%”.
In addition, companies can modify the results of the previous reporting periods, the results of audits of the Prosecutor’s office, judicial decisions and “other objective reasons”. Final approval of data on the volume of construction occurs after the date of operational statistics by Rosstat, the statistical unit in the construction sector may not fully reflect the current situation, explain in the office.
Secondly, the difference in the volume and structure of construction works and investments in fixed capital aimed at the construction, comes from the fact that the growth of investments included additional capital expenditures, increase these figures. These include, for example, the cost of design and survey works, construction supervision, organization and holding tenders. Some of these works in the statistics on construction not reflected — for example, the cost of buying developers, building materials, engineering equipment.
The Agency also complains of low reporting discipline: “Some difficulties associated with the failure reporting contractor organizations located on the territory of other constituent entities of the Russian Federation”. For finding and correcting errors takes time, said the Agency.
Listed by Rosstat data collection issues fair, agree experts interviewed by Forbes. “And with the existing objective difficulties in the collection of information, its quality, overall, is maintained at the proper level, systematic problem with this is not visible,” — said the chief economist of the Russian direct investment Fund Dmitry Polevoy.
However, similar problems arise in the formation of many other economic indicators, but their scores do not raise such issues, says head of the laboratory for research in inflation and growth of the HSE, Vladimir Bessonov.
“I think that the problem is deeper. Quality indicators could be improved. But for this, first and foremost, it is necessary that colleagues from Rosstat wanted to do,” says Besson.
According to him, a claim the performance dynamics of investment in fixed capital from analysts was for a long time. To improve statistics, Ministry of economic development has even established a working group, bringing together statisticians with representatives of the expert community.
“The working group made a number of proposals, which ultimately were not adopted by Rosstat, although many seemed encouraging. Furthermore, Rosstat has refused the construction of an indicator on a monthly basis. It seems that now history is repeating itself, now with record quarterly performance,” says Besson.
According to the macro analyst of Raiffeisenbank Stanislav Murashov, Rosstat said nothing new, and the issues that have arisen to published reports, remained.
“So, from the explanation of Rosstat is not clear which of the quarters was growth, as the Ministry operates on data for 9 months. Possibly, in the future Rosstat will revise data for previous quarters, and the final figures will not be so dramatic,” he says.
In addition, according to Murashova, the Ministry has not explained why the country has seen strong growth in investment, while reducing investment and import is quite weak dynamics of the construction.
The list of reasons for the discrepancy between the volume of investment in construction and the construction itself can be much greater, according to the team Manager in providing services in the field of real estate Deloitte Sergey Chemerikin. “The life cycle of construction and construction dynamics do not always coincide with the dynamics of investment in it. For example, you can build a facility, to be commissioned and accountable to the statistical authorities about its construction. But the investments don’t end there, as in the following months, it will be necessary to invest in the improvement of the adjacent territory,” — explains the Chemerikin.
According to experts, the situation could facilitate a more open policy of Rosstat and the demonstration of clear methodologies. “The texts of the methods of construction of many indicators could not be considered examples of clarity”, — said Vladimir Bessonov. According to Dmitry Polevoy, to improve the quality statistics necessary to analyze other available data, including surveys of companies and indirect indicators.