03 October 2015
The perennial debate over the reliability of China’s official economic data has caught fire again, but with potentially more severe repercussions as its weakening economy fuels fears of a global recession.
A roar of scepticism went up after Beijing’s claim that China posted a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 7 per cent in the first half of the year and can maintain roughly that rate in the third quarter.
Some economists point to the coincidence as suspicious: Beijing set a yearly growth target of “about 7 per cent” in March this year and was spot-on in meeting it. The figure also raised doubts as it was not in line with other data suggesting a slump in the manufacturing and residential real estate construction sectors, China’s economic powerhouses.
… Dr Friedrich Wu, an associate professor of international political economy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the trouble with measuring growth is that many services are difficult to count at the local levels. “It will take some years for the Chinese statistical authorities to come up with a comprehensive and valid set of services indicators,” he noted.
CMS / Online / Print
Last updated on 13/11/2015