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HomeUncategorizedHow reliable is China's economic data? | DW Business

How reliable is China’s economic data? | DW Business

China's National Bureau of Statistics has vowed to punish officials for falsifying economic data – warning that anyone caught fudging the numbers would be "found, investigated and dealt with." The warning comes amid mounting skepticism about the veracity of China's official data.

The video features analysis from Derek Scissors, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


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  1. Even Li Keqiang, the econ head, said it’s for guidance and that the figures are unreliable…so more of a target to reach, at all costs, if officials want to keep their posts. He looks at electricity consumption, rail cargo and bank lending instead. M2 money supply is probably better than lending data. Post covid, better to look at retail sales, air travel and the property market.

    • China economy was doing well during Covid due to the huge demand of electronics and medical goods in the world. You might recall the crazy shipping cost at that time. The Chinese export was 2500bn USD in 2019 and increased to 3316bn in 2021 and 3380bn USD in 2023. Post covid and after Ukraine war, China never has the sky-high inflation in other countries thanks to its own vast manufacturing base and cheap energy imports from Russia, and this is why China GDP is growing in its own currency with close to zero inflation. The Chinese GDP is doing relatively poor in USD has more to do with Forex as the US government has to raise interest rate to fight inflation. People just can’t understand the basics of economy.

    • China boost its GDP by building internal infrastructure like bridge, high speed train links to reach their “target” which they fix at the beginning of the year, which is very different how rest of the world does. Many of those infrastructure are not profitable and it is kind of a lost investment.

  2. Just had a trip to France. Chinese tourists have practically disappeared compared to 6 years ago when I last went there. It tells a lot about the Chinese economy. I remember when I was a young man travelling to Europe 30 years ago, people would say hello to any Asian face in Japanese. China is going down the same path, if not worse.

  3. Any provincial bureaucrat who has been sending misleading data would instantly make himself suspicious if he suddenly changed it now.

    • what they did is to adjust the previous figures down so it boosts this year numbers then they do it again the next year. They think no one is going to look back to last year numbers but in there are people who noticed what they have been doing for monthly, quarterly and yearly reports.

    • It doesn’t matter. The old rule was “give me positive data”. The new rule is “give me positive data AND don’t lie”.

      Anybody that isn’t pro-authoritarian will see the issues with that.

    • Even worse, their predecessors sent in bad information. Now its a game of musical chairs to see who gets caught, but they have no choice since bad results will be harshly punished

    • They are all corrupt. They also just run up the debt of the provinces to hit their GDP numbers because then they will get promoted and then the debt will become someone else’s problem. That’s why there is so much useless infrastructure projects. China builds ghost cities and bridges to nowhere using debt because it’s an easy way to increase their GDP numbers. You can increase your GDP by building a bridge, knocking it down, building it up again and again. This will obviously cause you problems down the road….

    • Know how to speak is not necessarily knowing nor telling the whole real truth. That has always been the US and western skills in twisting and turning true facts to suit their agenda and own benefits. That’s how they maintain their hegemony and the world already knows about all these tricks .

    • Yeah, he knows a lot, and if you keep in mind he that he is speaking from an American perspective with all its associated ideology behind it, it is indeed a very interesting interview.

    • On a scale of 1 to 1, one being the most likely and 1 being the least likely, how likely yould you say the US changed the way they calculate inflation in order to hide that they are already in recession?

    • yes,all the Chinese infrastructure are fade, all amde by paper, including houses,HSR, all goods exported to your country, mare than half of the commercial ships are made by China including the owners all over the world, they required China to make paper ship so China can cook their GDP numbers, how smart you are, Chinese felt so happy that thier rivals has people like you.

    • Where are all these new roads, bridges, hydroelectric dams, airports, coal plants, subways and high speed rail the Chinese built coming from?

  4. It means the internal fiddling of the statistics is to such an extent that they are not meaningful or believable by even domestic organisations

  5. I remember there was talk of China outsourcing intensive labor to other countries and transitioning into a consumer/service market or something like that. Maybe if China didn’t behave so aggressively over the last 10 years and instead truly built the B&R into a major labor supply from surrounding countries, it would be a different position than now.

    • China will never be a lead consumer/service market because they lack the credibility and accountability to go with it. The reason the West is so good at services is because everything is transparent and the data is easily accessible. Then there is a ton of 3rd party agencies like SEC, FDA, CDC, NIH, OSHA, FSIC that are in charge of overlooking everything in between from operations to safety to finances. Services and Consumers markets requires A LOT of trust for it to work efficiently. Consumer and Services doesn’t work when corruption is rampant and everyone is trying to cheat and steal from each other. China shot itself in the foot when they decided that lying and cheating results would yield endgame gains and I personally don’t think it will ever shake that reputation.

    • @@zacksmith5963 yet, thousands of Chinese are fleeing China and the Chinese consist of the third largest illegal immigrants coming into USA. For a country that lost, seems like everyone is trying to come to the USA. Wumao, go collect your 50 cent before the funds dry up.

    • ​@@zacksmith5963purchasing power parity is a number provided only by china’s government and no one else can see the real data. It’s made up..nominal gdp is measured by international organizations. Nominal gdp is more accurate and it says the US economy is nearly 10 trillion dollars larger than china’s.

    • Ll conjecture of biased Western press. USA economy is booming and unemployment is only 4% yet just about every second announcement is about a top US company laying off 20 000 workers at a time. And if the top economy in the world is booming how come they can only mange 2.5% annualized growth. So who is fooling who here. Also China does not have 34 trillion debt

  6. “We know that they are lying, they know that they are lying, they even know that we know they are lying, we also know that they know we know they are lying too, they of course know that we certainly know they know we know they are lying too as well, but they are still lying. In our country, the lie has become not just moral category, but the pillar industry of this country.” ….. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  7. 6:39 “Xi does not want a thriving private sector” – first time I’ve heard a commentator say that. Explains Xi’s crackdown on multiple industries, but does he realistically think that the state can provide the growth for the economy?

    • He doesnt know what he’s talking. Like most China experts, they are a dime a dozen. Despite trade tensions US businesses sent the strongest ever delegation late last year to Shanghai for the China International Trade Expo. While 500 European firms took part. VW recently invested more than a billion dollars and shifted their ev production from Germany to Hefei China. They know that’s where the action and future of ev are. Risk staying at home and die a slow death. No leader in his right mind will leave the entire economy to be run by the state.

    • I think Xi isn’t afraid of a thriving private sector. He’s afraid of a thriving private sector outside of party control

    • XI jinping anti private sector policies have been a topic amongst China analysts for 2-3 years now.
      We have no idea what he truly thinks, which is a huge problem from multiple angles.
      All we can tell from afar is that he believes in. “Stability”. People who knew him before he became unapproachable say he is traumatized by the cultural revolution and obsessed with avoiding any semblance of unpredictability.

  8. It is impossible for any country with this size of economy to grow faster each year. So the question is how fast the increase rate drop and where it stabilizes.

    • It makes sense to invest in India over China.

      China is a communist hole that hates democracies and only country the size of China capable of handling China is going to be India. So either the money west has been pouring in goes into India, or the world ignores India and India sides with China and Russia in the future, which is bad for the west anyway.

      This is why India is now the new China, and unlike China, a functioning democracy which doesn’t hate the world.

  9. The U.S. is literally adding roughly $2 Trillion in new debt every year right now, just to hold off economic recession…but China is somehow doing worse.


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