Regional GDP growth rate outpaces nation's economy

08:51, August 02, 2010      

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By Liang Fei

Something is fishy in the provinces. Almost all of the 29 local governments that released their GDP figures over the weekend recorded growth rates of over 11 percent, somehow outpacing the national numbers, according to the Beijing-based Legal Mirror newspaper.

The total GDP of these 29 in the first half of the year amounted to 18 trillion yuan ($2.66 trillion), which is 800 billion yuan ($118.11 billion) higher than the figures released by the National Bureau of Sta-tistics (NBS), 17.2 trillion yuan ($2.54 trillion).

"This is not a new phenomenon," said Yuan Gangming, an economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "The reported local GDP growth rates have always been much higher than the central one," Yuan said.

In the first half of 2009, the difference between local figures and the national figure was even larger, with a gap of 1.4 trillion yuan ($206.69 billion).

So where is this discrepancy coming from? It is possible that some local governments have been cooking their books in order to make them look better, Yuan explained.

"But there could be double-counting due to cross-region cooperation," Ye Qing, deputy director of Hubei Province Statistics Bureau, told the Global Times.

And the sampling methods used for measuring GDP may be different between the central and the local governments, Ye added.

The NBS is obviously aware of possible statistical manipulations and miscalculation. Last week, the central bureau issued an announcement clarifying the protocols for carrying out GDP calculations, including checking, double-checking, and then checking again.

Source: Global Times


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