China’s top statistician has acknowledged the country’s problems with falsification of economic data, pledging severe punishment for perpetrators in a nod to widespread suspicion that official numbers often fail to reflect true economic conditions, the Financial Times reports. Foreign economists and investors have long expressed doubts about China’s economic data. Most prominent are concerns about gross domestic product figures. Compared with other countries, China’s inflation-adjusted GDP growth rates are remarkably stable from quarter to quarter, even as nominal figures show considerable volatility. The NBS has denied charges that it manipulates inflation data to massage headline growth figures. In October a powerful Communist party task force led by President Xi Jinping issued policy guidelines calling for “increasing data accuracy” through methods including harsher penalties for falsification.
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