(Bloomberg) -- India is planning to cut the lag in reporting of its labor statistics as the nation seeks to make its economic data more transparent and reliable.

The government aims to publish the periodic labor force survey for urban areas at monthly intervals by the end of the year, instead of a quarter’s gap at present, Saurabh Garg, secretary at the statistics ministry, said at an event in New Delhi. 

The data for rural areas will be published every quarter, against the current practice of releasing it annually along with the countrywide jobless data, he said.  

A higher frequency will help policymakers and economists better read the state of employment in the country. In the absence of timely official data, analysts often rely on private researchers for an assessment of the labor market. 

The most recent official report, released in October, puts the unemployment rate for the country at 3.2% for 2022-2023. That’s much lower than the numbers being released by private firm the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt.

With India’s economy expanding rapidly, calls for an overhaul of India’s statistics are growing louder with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s own economic advisory council raising concerns about the quality of the data in the past.

The government will also hold consumer expenditure surveys annually to understand the changing consumption patterns, Garg said. The latest survey, released after a decade instead of an earlier practice of five years, showed the proportion of spending on food dropped in urban and rural households.

Data from the latest consumer expenditure survey will be used by the government to readjust items considered for calculating retail inflation and gross domestic product.

--With assistance from Siddhartha Singh.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.