Trinidad Express / For a long time, the inability of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) to provide the data necessary to make informed decisions and judgments about the local economy has been something of an international joke. In its 2014 staff report following the Article IV Consultation with the T&T authorities, the International Monetary Fund stated: “The CSO…remains woefully understaffed and under-resourced…The production of critical data (including GDP, trade, and labour, as well as tourism statistics) continues to fall further behind, grinding to a halt in critical areas and rendering the conduct of surveillance ever harder.” Last Saturday, in attempting to locate T&T trade data, I made a pessimistic visit to the CSO website, which has become largely irrelevant to the work of business/economic journalism and commentary because the data is so out of date and therefore useless.

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