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Modernise data system

Economic data must be released during market hours

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Indian Economy | Business Standard Editorial Comment

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  Mumbai 



Last week, the National Statistical Office of the Union government released the gross domestic product (GDP) estimates for the second quarter of this fiscal year. As usual, the data was released well after the trading day had closed, at 5:30 pm. On the same day, the latest print for the core sector was made public — that too after the close of business. This is followed as a norm with many important data results. Inflation numbers too tend to be issued very late. The government seems to believe that it is necessary to do so in order to minimise trading around the new information. But is that how a mature economy behaves? The reasons behind such decisions should be re-examined, and a rational approach be taken. Such analysis would no doubt demonstrate that timely data release is far more in the national interest than the current procedures. Rather than preventing speculation around data releases, the current system simply disadvantages Indian investors. Most important markets elsewhere are open at 5:30 pm IST, and thus everyone in the world can adjust to new information before Indian investors do. Surely creating a systemic disadvantage for the Indian financial markets is not the intent of the government.

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First Published: Sun, December 05 2021. 23:40 IST

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