The World Bank’s ease of doing business indicators are very important. If you are, say, the Macedonian trade minister, you will know your country’s ranking – and you will cite it at every opportunity to boost foreign investment. (It’s 25, by the way.)

But behind the scenes is a conflict between several countries over how these rankings are compiled. To some, the methodology is biased in favour of outright deregulation. To others it takes no account of levels of corruption. China is trying hard – with little success so far – to influence the process. Read more

What’s that phrase? If you’re in a hole, stop digging?

Hernán Lorenzino, Argentina’s economy minister (left), abruptly terminated an interview with a Greek television journalist, Eleni Varvitsioti, after she pressed him on the tricksy issue of inflation in ArgentinaRead more

By Emre Deliveli of Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish inflation figures, announced on Monday, showed a 1.7 per cent month-on-month increase in January, much higher than market expectations of 1.1 per cent. In a striking jump, annual inflation rose to 7.3 per cent from 6.1 per cent in December.

A big contribution came from an unexpected big increase in food prices: Turkish food inflation is volatile and hard to predict. Read more

WPI or CPI, or something new? Indian inflation is a complicated thing to follow.

The governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in a speech Tuesday, called for a new inflation index to be developed to supplement the Wholesale Price Index that the RBI mainly relies on to determine monetary policy and the recently revamped Consumer Price Index. Read more

Is China’s slowdown worse than the government is letting on? That was the provocative claim in a New York Times article last week which reported that officials were manipulating data on everything from tax revenue to power production in order to present a rosier picture of the economy.

But two prominent analysts have now come to Beijing’s defence, arguing that Chinese statistics are reliable and concerns about falsification overblown. They say the truth is that the economy is slowing, not collapsing, and that the data have accurately portrayed this. Read more