West­ern me­dia should drop bias against China’s growth fig­ures

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

BEIJING—Of­fi­cial fig­ures pub­lished by China’s Na­tional Bureau of Statistics ear­lier this month sug­gested that the coun­try’s econ­omy was off to a good start in the first quar­ter of 2016.

How­ever, the BBC, Bri­tain’s ma­jor broad­cast ser­vice, voiced sus­pi­cions right af­ter the num­bers were re­leased, say­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ments and en­ter­prises had mas­saged the num­bers so as to meet growth tar­gets.

Chi­nese eco­nomic data are of­ten ques­tioned by skep­tics, but a re­cent re­port by the Fed­eral Re­serve Bank of Kansas City showed that such skep­ti­cism is ground­less. Its au­thors found that China’s of­fi­cial gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) data are a re­li­able

Michael Parker, economist for Bern­stein Research in Hong Kong, also dis­agrees with the skep­tics. “The idea of get­ting tens or maybe hun­dreds of thou­sands of ac­coun­tants and statis­ti­cians across China to march con­sis­tently in a crooked line — and to do that for a decade or more — sounds, to us, im­plau­si­ble,” he said.

In­deed, the fact that China has had tremen­dous growth over the past three decades sim­ply goes against such scep­ti­cism. Ob­servers have said China’s fam­ily wealth is still sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­es­ti­mated.

Ac­tu­ally, some West­ern me­dia are strongly prej­u­diced against the re­li­a­bil­ity of China’s sta­tis­ti­cal

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