|China economic output data distortion persists
China's economy would be at least 3.7 trillion yuan bigger than Beijing thinks if the country's local government statistics were to be believed, state media reported.
The Economic Information Daily tallied up gross domestic product (GDP) data from 28 of 31 provincial-level authorities, totalling 42.4 trillion yuan for the first nine months of the year.
But the figure for the whole country, already announced by Beijing, is 3.7 trillion yuan lower.
The discrepancy – which has existed more than two decades – has been widening rapidly in recent years, the Economic Information Daily said.
The reliability of Chinese economic data has long been in doubt as local officials tend to massage the figures upwards in pursuit of promotion and the newspaper, which is run by Xinhua, pointed to the same problem.
“Some regions may have inflated the statistics due to their distorted perception of achievements given the fact that the performance assessment of local governments is often linked with GDP growth,'' the report quoted an unnamed National Bureau of Statistics official as saying.
Premier Li Keqiang said in 2007, when he was the governor of Liaoning province, that some data was “man-made,’’ according to a confidential memo released by the WikiLeaks website in 2010.