On Thursday, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) spokeswoman Liu Aihua confirmed that provincial governments will change the way they collect and report economic data.
Some context: Local governments often inflate their growth numbers to score political points.
More context: (In)famously, the combined reporting of provincial GDP levels have far exceeded the NBS-calculated national total since 1985.
Even more context:
Efforts to instill integrity into government numbers began six years ago, with a crackdown on false data from local officials.Last month, the NBS revised the Statistics Law to ramp up punishment for false reporting (see October 10 Tip Sheet).
Get smart: Aligning national and provincial measuring methods will improve consistency, but still won’t alleviate the widespread skepticism about the accuracy of official Chinese stats.
Get smarter: Better data makes for better policy – so Beijing should have a better basis for managing the economy.