We attended a talk a while ago at which an economist, noting that things were looking rocky for China next year, said that just as surely as official GDP figures have been underreported in recent years to ward off overheating fears, the numbers will be reliably massaged upward over the next couple of years. A possible early sign of this trend: With most outside projections of China’s GDP growth for 2009 in the 5.5-8% range, we noticed this from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a state-run think tank:
“I think China can achieve 9 percent GDP growth, or even higher,” said Wang Tongsan, a senior economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), at a news conference releasing the academy’s annual economic forecast, or Blue Book.
“The possibility is quite high – it could be at least 70 percent possible that GDP growth reaches 9 percent next year.”
So 9% growth could be at least 70% possible – you have to admire Dr Wang’s confidence there. Makes you wonder what he thinks the odds are on that 70% likelihood (and indeed his idea of the outcome of that remaining 30%). The article says Wang believes the government’s stimulus package will have a greater effect than international organizations are giving it credit for. You know, the package whose headline total was inflated to about three times the value of new spending when it was announced (note: to be fair, there are further packages in the works as well, such as this one from the NDRC).