As China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) just announced the weakest quarterly GDP growth since 2009 with 6.9% year-on-year (YOY), the reliability and the accuracy of these figures seem to be more and more challenged. Not only the slowdown in the Chinese economy worries financial markets, but the latters’ feverishness could stem from the increasingly pronounced disparity between official statistics and what the participants in the Chinese economy would see in situ.
According to BBC’s Robert Peston, “it’s doubtful that if China’s economy was measured in the way we measure ours that it would be showing the 6.9% annual growth announced today.” For other economists, in addition to flaws in how Chinese GDP is calculated, this is their combination with political pressure to meet targets that could have distorted such figures.
“Quite frankly we don’t believe them,” said Danny Gabay, Director of Fathom financial consulting, who considers these figures are “suspiciously close to the target, produced remarkably quickly and rarely revised.” Too good to be true then? Critics suggest China’s GDP growth is hovering around 3% instead.