01/20/2017, 09.33
CHINA
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Official statistics: China grows by 6.7%, but a lot of data manipulated

by Wang Zhicheng

Growth figures published today. Domestic consumption grew by 10.4%. But the biggest contribution came from construction, infrastructure, credit. The data inflated in Liaoning. Perhaps a more realistic figure is an increase of 4%.

 

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Chinese government today released the official statistics according to which the country grew by 6.7% in 2016. The data is within the leadership’s forecast, even if it is the lowest for over a quarter of a century.

The publication of the statistics coincides with the emergence of some scandals of manipulated growth data in Liaoning (inflated by up to 23%), which pose further questions to investors who are already doubtful about health of the economy in China.

Data published by the National Statistics Office show that growth was 6.8% in the last quarter, while in the rest of the year it was 6.7. Contributing to this growth - enviable for any Western country - was the construction, infrastructure construction and credit boom, all very worrying elements, as it would point to a speculative bubble in China where property and infrastructure lies already unused (buildings, roads, airports, etc ...). The attempt to break away from this state supported economy is still timid, although domestic consumption increased by 10.4%.

Many China watchers doubt, however, the published data. For years the provinces have inflated the their growth figures in the hope of being noticed by the central leadership and obtaining career promotions.

In 2012 for example, the sum of the GDP of all the provinces was a much higher than the national total. Yesterday the manipulation of figures in the so-called "rusty belt" of the North-east of the country, which is in crisis, was denounced.

In this situation, many observers are trying to access more accurate data by calculating the electricity consumed, or container traffic. According to these measurements China’s growth should be around 4%.

 

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