SovereignMan April 7 2014
Santiago, Chile ~ Over the weekend, Nigeria’s government made an accounting adjustment in how it calculates its GDP statistics.
By changing the base-year in GDP calculations from 1990 to 2010, Nigeria increased the reported size of its economy by 89% over the weekend.
So with a stroke of a pen, the West African nation leapfrogged South Africa to become the continent’s largest economy.
And in doing so the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio fell below 20%. The ratio of bad loans in the banking system when compared to the overall size of the economy also dramatically declined in proportion.
The same thing happened in Poland last year when the government there made a grab for private pensions, then counted those new assets against government debt.
It was just another accounting scam. But it dramatically lowered Poland’s debt-to-GDP ratio on paper, even though the government had not actually gotten any ‘richer’.