China: Where Information Flows Freely

April 16, 2009 in Economics,News

Floyd Norris on China's reported GDP figures:

China is becoming the world’s most energy-efficient economy.

Or maybe its statisticians are just the most creative.

Essentially, for the past decade China's GDP has grown at a slightly slower rate than its electricity usage (which makes sense, since production requires energy).  This year, GDP growth contracted sharply but remained positive at +6.1%. Norris notes that "[China] has not yet reported March electricity consumption, but during the first two months of the year electricity use was down 9.2% from 2008’s first quarter."

Draw your own conclusions regarding the validity of the state-reported GDP number...

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