China’s Growth Figures Fail to Add Up (Updated)

The Financial Times reports that economic statistics about regional economic growth aren’t tallying with Beijing’s numbers:

But the latest set of first-half numbers provided by provincial-level authorities are far higher than the central government’s national figure, raising fresh questions about the accuracy of statistics in the world’s most populous nation.

totalled Rmb15,376bn ($2,251bn) in the first half, according to released individually by China’s 31 provinces and municipalities, 10 per cent higher than the official first-half GDP figure of Rmb13,986bn published by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The article goes on to describe a campaign launched by the National Bureau of Statistics in response:

The criticism has prompted the NBS to launch a campaign last week, entitled “Statistical Feelings: We have walked together – Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of New China,” to boost confidence among statisticians.

The campaign has already produced works such as: “I’m proud to be a brick in the statistical building of the republic.” In another poem, a contributor writes: “I can rearrange the stars in the sky because I have statistics.”

See also a blog post, “All in all, you’re just another brick in the Great Wall,” from Paul Krugman.

Update: See also “Statistics authorities explain why everyone is getting richer in the bad economy” from , which translates an article from the Beijing Morning Post.

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