Questioning GDP figures frivolous: Chinese daily

Beijing, July 17 (IANS) Western media’s questioning of the authenticity of China’s second quarter GDP growth of 7 percent “does not display logic and is even frivolous”, said a state-run Chinese daily on Friday.

The Global Times in an editorial said that several mainstream Western media outlets have questioned the authenticity of China’s second quarter GDP growth of 7 percent, “claiming that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) faked the figures to boost investors’ confidence”.

“They have this skepticism simply because the GDP growth rates in Q1 and Q2 happened to be identical, which also coincides with China’s yearly growth target of 7 percent,” it said.

The editorial stressed that the “questioning does not display logic and is even frivolous”.

It said that working out the statistics for the Chinese economy is “immensely challenging and it is hard to be absolutely accurate. No wonder the West has questions about the methodology. But different methods will not affect the authority of the NBS figures”.

The daily said that it is “alluring to have economic statistics made on the government’s will, which perhaps exists widely, but the Chinese government can resist this temptation”.

The editorial noted that despite the lowest GDP growth rate, the Chinese economy is not in its hardest times because the slowdown has greatly declined and the public has adapted to the current growth and even a lower rate.

“As faking a 7 percent figure takes more risk than releasing a lower but real one, China has no motives to forge the data,” it stressed.

It went on to say that the NBS has released numerous economic figures that “may not look entirely ideal for China at the time”.

“And today, the anti-corruption campaign has made all the officials more aware of the cost for any misdeed. It is hence groundless to suspect the NBS faked its statistics.”

“Since the number is 7 percent for two consecutive quarters, a few foreign media outlets were getting jittery. Accusations of crooked statistics are based on unprofessional questions, almost cheap complaints.

“The growth goal set by the government is around 7 percent, not 7 percent exactly. Since the third and fourth quarter’s growth will probably beat it, the yearly data will likely be higher than 7 percent.”

It added that “questions about economic statistics also stem from a lack of government credibility. Agencies that are supposed to be credible are under pressure to prove themselves”.

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