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Gerard Burg, senior economist at NAB, suggests that the uncertainty around the accuracy of Chinese official data has inspired a range of alternative measures, often constructed from lower profile data series that are thought to be less subject to errors or manipulation.

Key Quotes

“The smoothness of China’s official economic growth raises some justifiable doubts around the accuracy of the country’s growth data. This is particularly the case when alternative measures (including our model) generally suggest that the economy slowed significantly in late 2015-early 2016 before subsequently recovering.”

“There are a wide range of views around the validity of Chinese economic growth data, along with a range of potential alternative indicators. Ultimately all of these measures have some shortfalls and cannot be independently validated. This means that we can’t be certain that an alternative measure provides a more accurate picture of China’s economy than official statistics.”

“Given China’s significance to the global economy, a greater degree of transparency around China’s national accounts (and other data) would be preferable.”