Is Cuba Concealing Bad Economic Data? 

The Cuban government  has not yet released 2016 data on the country’s gross domestic product, exports, money supply and debt even though in June-July 2017 it did release other statistical information. The government even failed to respond to a Reuters question in January 2018 as to when this 2016 information would be released. [1]

Many speculate that this omission is deliberate to facilitate the Cuban government’s claims in late December 2017 that the economy grew in 2017 by 1.6%[2] when Moody’s and the Economist’s Intelligence Unit had projected that the Cuban recession continued in 2017, while the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) had projected Cuba would have for 2017 an anemic growth of 0.5%.

“The abnormal delay in macroeconomic indicators for 2016 casts doubt on the official estimate of GDP growth in 2017,” said Carmelo Mesa-Lago , professor emeritus of economics at the University of Pittsburgh and author of numerous books on Cuba’s economy. This opinion was echoed by an anonymous Cuban economist, who said, “Whenever things are bad the response from the government is to hide information.”

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[1] Frank, Cuban economy even more opaque as data omitted from 2016 accounts, Reuters (Jan. 15, 2018); Havana omits economic data in its 2016 accounts, Diario de Cuba (Jan. 15, 2018); ONE, 2016 Statistical Yearbook of Cuba.

[2]  Cabrisas: The Economy grew 1.6% despite ‘adverse situations,’ Diario de Cuba (Dec. 21, 2017).

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dwkcommentaries

As a retired lawyer and adjunct law professor, Duane W. Krohnke has developed strong interests in U.S. and international law, politics and history. He also is a Christian and an active member of Minneapolis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church. His blog draws from these and other interests. He delights in the writing freedom of blogging that does not follow a preordained logical structure. The ex post facto logical organization of the posts and comments is set forth in the continually being revised “List of Posts and Comments–Topical” in the Pages section on the right side of the blog.

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