China Statistics Data Not Inflated, Country Pursuing 'Quality Growth'

China Economy
Electronics factory in Shenzhen (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The National Bureau of Statistics has recently released its findings on China's overall growth. This includes the GDP growth targets for the different provinces in 2018 and 2019. While the numbers may be lower when compared to previous years, Chinese officials aren't worried. The country is reportedly confident that the growth itself is quality growth.

There have also been speculations that the Statistics bureau may have tweaked their data to satisfy government officials. However, the bureau's officials have officially announced that the government doesn't have any reason to inflate its data as it is not aiming for fast growth.  According to the director of the Department for Comprehensive Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics, despite the slight drop, employment rates, prices, and overall manufacturing output still remain to be very stable.

The head of the bureau, Mao Shenyong, also revealed that the slower rate of economic growth is acceptable, given that it is still on track with the country's long term goals. The director also explained that the Chinese government really doesn't have any motivation to ask their offices to change the numbers. According to Mao, he or any of his statisticians have never been approached by government officials asking them to make the numbers higher.

The credibility of the report's number also recently came under fire, but the bureau has assured the public that the figures are accurate and reliable. The bureau does admit that it has had some problems in the past, specifically with the processes in which they compile their data. However, the department assures that public that all of those issues have been dealt with.

Authorities have cracked down on companies and provinces that have attempted to overstate their GDPs. Chinese organizations are also wary of these kinds of practices as it will ultimately be disadvantageous to the different industries in the end. Some provincial governments used to constantly report altered data, which included double counting their inter-provincial business activities. Mao has assured the public that these types of practices are longer tolerated.  

Provincial governments have also started to lower their growth targets for the year. Most of them are apparently looking for quality growth within their respective industries as well. According to Mao, government sentiments have changed and local officials are no longer looking for very high growth rates for 2019. The central government is expected to follow suit and will likely announce a lower national target for the coming months.

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