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BJP’s Graphic Poster Misleads To Show 8 Percent Growth In India’s Economy, 2020 Estimates

On 27 January 2021, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tweeted a caption and poster which showed India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate for 2020 as an 8 per cent growth. (Now deleted) 

Screenshot of BJP's Twitter post showing India with an 8% growth in 2020 estimates, IMF
Screenshot of BJP’s Twitter post showing India with an 8% growth in 2020 estimates, IMF

Sourcing this data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the tweet from their official handle reads, “The IMF has projected growth rate of 11.5% for India in 2021, the only major economy to register a double-digit growth this year. The projection is a testament of India’s robust economic recovery after the unprecedented slowdown the world faced last year due to COVID pandemic.”

The poster shared with their tweet can be seen below. It shows India’s estimates for 2020 and 2021 highlighted in orange. Here, India’s 2020 estimate shows an 8 percent growth, China’s growth as 2.3 percent, while estimates for all other countries show a contraction (shown with a negative sign before the number). 

Screenshot of BJP's graphic poster showing India with an 8% growth in 2020 estimates, IMF
Screenshot of BJP’s graphic poster showing India with an 8% growth in 2020 estimates, IMF

The BJP posted this on their official Facebook account on the same day. (Now deleted)

Screenshot of BJP's Facebook post showing India with an 8% growth in 2020 estimates, IMF
Screenshot of BJP’s Facebook post showing India with an 8% growth in 2020 estimates, IMF

You can also view the archived versions of their Twitter and Facebook post. 

Fact Check/ Verification 

The International Monetary Fund in the January 2021 update of their World Economic Outlook (WEO) report estimated that India’s economy will contract or have a negative growth of 8 percent (-8%) in its FY21. For countries listed under Emerging Markets and Developing Economies only China can be seen with a growth rate of 2.3 percent, while all others show a contraction of their real GDPs in 2020 estimates. India is listed under this category. 

The original graphic poster by IMF clearly shows India’s GDP estimates for 2020 as an 8 per cent contraction (-8), while the 2021 and 2022 projections show 11.5 per cent and 6.8 per cent growth, respectively. 

Screenshot of IMF's latest World Economic Outlook growth projections
Screenshot of IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook growth projections

You can view IMF’s graphic poster and January 2021 WEO report here

Economic data released after the October 2020 WEO forecast suggested a higher average across regions in the second half of the year. “Notable revisions to the forecast include the one for India (2.7 percentage points for 2021), reflecting carryover from a stronger-than-expected recovery in 2020 after lockdowns were eased,” stated the report. 

“For India, data and forecasts are presented on a fiscal year basis, with FY20/21 starting in April 2020,” the reports notes. 

Conclusion

Evidently, as per IMF’s January 2021 World Economic Outlook report, India’s 2020 GDP estimates show an 8 per cent (%) contraction. The BJP in their Twitter and Facebook’s posts missed adding a negative sign before “8” therefore, misleading their audience. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

International Monetary Fund: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2021/01/26/2021-world-economic-outlook-update


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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