Maybe China’s GDP Data Isn’t Fake After All – Naomi Rovnick – The Atlantic

Maybe China’s GDP Data Isn’t Fake After All – Naomi Rovnick – The Atlantic.

Whenever I find myself in a conversation regarding China and its booming economy, especially when I hear the line that “China is on track to overtake the US economy” it doesn’t take long for the sinoskeptic in me to come out.  This article more supports my skepticism than the title would imply; in the article, the authors give more evidence that China’s economic statistics are faked than not.  But the methodology that the Fed used is interesting, and has been one of the few even reasonably effective counterarguments to my position.  I would still like to point out, however, that though the Chinese GDP “broadly” matches data from its trading partners, there are very few times when the two figures are closely aligned, and they get significantly more out of tune the farther into the global recession the graph goes.  But what would be some really valuable information is if the Fed did a similar study on countries with more transparency into their economic statistics – could the different between the two lines be explained by the fact that imports and exports form only one piece of a country’s economy and NOT by falsified statistics?

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