Chart of the week: China fiddles the figures

The Chinese economy may be almost one-seventh smaller than officially reported, – a new paper has found that industrial output and investment have been “consistently embellished”.

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The Chinese economy may be almost one-seventh smaller than officially reported, says The Economist. A new paper published by Washington's Brookings Institution foundthat industrial output and investment have been "consistently embellished".

The study used data on the collection of value-added tax, which has been compiled for almost 15 years and is hard to tamper with, to establish a more accurate reflection of overall output. A key problem in recent years has been provincial officials, whose promotions depend on economic performance, fiddling with statistics. "Since they rank above the national statistics bureau politically, only the bravest bean counter would dare stand in their way."

Viewpoint

made buckets of money. This persuades them that the world is deeply unjust and that expropriation of the rich is the only fair answer."

James Bartholomew, The Daily Telegraph

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