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Title: Revisions to China’s GDP data following the 2004 economic census : more questions than answers?
Authors: Holz, Carsten A.
Keywords: China
National income accounting
Growth estimates
Benchmark revisions
Economic census
Issue Date: 27-May-2006
Abstract: On 9 January 2006, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced a benchmark revision of GDP statistics for the years 1993-2004 based on the findings of the 2004 economic census. It released nominal values of GDP and sectoral value added (obtained following the production approach) for these years, as well as real growth rates. The new data have three important implications. (i) Despite all the hype only a few years ago about data falsification by local statistical authorities in China, and despite the NBS’s efforts to correct local data when deriving national data, the 2004 economic census results validate the local data and invalidate the NBS data for the years 1993-2004. (ii) While (national) economy-wide as well as all sectoral nominal values were significantly revised upward following the 2004 economic census, real growth rates of some sectors remained unchanged, which is not plausible. (iii) The selective revisions to production approach data have implications for the as yet unpublished revisions to expenditure approach data (including investment) and income approach data (including labor remuneration and the profit measure operating surplus).
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