Created: 4/1/1990

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USSR Review

Serb*L Slifl ImMM <u)

The Soneteginning to use GNP dlU lo formolste lu ccooomk pUu. ram performance, aad make policy faaiow. TV ceoaal GNP data continue to owUU real growth, however, because tbey do boi adequately account forlo prkoa.

Vi/siaresie Manser* CIA has indcpcndoiil, estimated Sonet economic performance because tbe Soviet statistical agency. GoakomJlat, haa used tho Marxist concept of net material product as ameasure of oooaomk performance rather than tha moreNPaaed ia lhe Weat. Moreover, the growth rate* published by Goakoraslal overstate actual performance because inflation is not adequately accounted for. j

The impetus for tha Soviets to begin using GNP appears to have coma From President Gorbachev. Embassy reporting suggests thai Gorbachev baa regularly received ClA'i urn Unified GNP estimates and that, becoming aware of the faults ta Gcekomstafs data, be replaced the director aad ordered the agency to come apdable

CIA Dmu ns (he Standard CIA estimates ot Soviet GNP arc increasingly died by Soviet .pecianstsst tbe standard in evslus ting their econocaicestnadiyeputy chairman of the research inslilute of Gosplan (the Sate Planningaper delivered at the9 meet lag of the American Economic Aasodatkc directly compared CIA data with ac^rnkm Gcekomstsi data and used thr deHred rdsticraarp to predsct9 performance. Zotcyev said he believed that the CIA growth rales are. Ifittle too high. In another example, the9 issueespected Sonet mataenutkat-cconomk journal pebhshed several ankles that referred to CIA statistics as more accurate than Goskoraaui data, p*

/sssre-faaeaa rVeaWWSat DtHtrtd. Tha new chairman of Goahomsut. Vaetim lOrfcaeako. deima that pastcc4c^ ddscses-it. areccerw-ed. especUIry tbcaa In the estimation of retail prka indexes. HisifikaUt to verify, however, llnce Goskomstat has not published any methodological detail, on itsrocedures. In addition, the published growth rates (sea graph) show that the gap between Soviet and CIA estimates of GNP it even larger lhan thai between lhe enitnaios of net material product. It appears thai Goakomsut simply convened lu dd net material product estimates to GNP by adding in services aad depreciation butot adequately accounting for price


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