Every provincial-level authority in China has reported economic growth rates for 2002 above the average for the whole country. Tianjin reported the highest rate, 12.5 per cent, while the lowest, reported by Xinjiang and Yunnan, was 8.1 per cent, just above the national figure of 8 per cent. The deputy director of the National Bureau of Statistics said that it was normal for discrepancies to occur as each province calculated its own figure, while the bureau did a separate calculation of the national figure.
The statistics highlighted doubts about the accuracy of information supplied by Chinese government sources, South China Morning Post reported. Some analysts argue that the inflation of claimed figures meant that China's real growth rate could be less than half the official rate. However, Professor Hu Bingliang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences argued that if the massive underground economy was factored in, then real economic growth was probably higher than the official figure.