China's NBS taking over regional GDP data

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/11 20:38:40

Move will improve statistical accuracy in China

A view of Qingdao Port in East China's Shandong Province on March 3 Photo: VCG

Starting this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will take over the accounting for GDP statistics in all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, and it will no longer rank the GDP values or growth rates of different regions, according to a report by on Monday.

Experts and officials said the move is part of the central government's efforts to combat fraud in the calculation of GDP. The shift could also mean the inclusion of new businesses that haven't been counted in the statistics so far.

From this year, the NBS will start to collect data at the regional level and it will develop a new system to generate and analyze national and provincial balance sheets, and to improve the overall assessment and evaluation mechanism.

Phasing in the new accounting system is among a series of recent attempts to combat fraud in the calculation of GDP in China, Yin Zhongqing, vice chairman of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said at a press conference during the two sessions, according to a report by on Sunday.

The Standing Committee of the NPC last year carried out statistical law enforcement inspections of six provinces in three groups, and it found that many improvements are still needed in terms of the efficiency and accuracy of data collection and the prevention of fraud, Yin said. 

"There is a discrepancy between regional and national GDP figures, and it has negatively affected the credibility of the government." 

Cong Yi, deputy director of the economics department of Tianjin University of Finance and Economy, told Global Times on Monday that the decision can prevent fraud, better reflect the fast-evolving economy in the Chinese society and address loopholes in the current system.

"The previous accounting system was province-based, which gave local governments a lot of incentives to exaggerate their GDP figures," Cong said. The old system also allowed for "data silos" involving businesses that run across different regions." 

Many emerging sectors have yet to be counted in GDP figures, and the new accounting system can be an opportunity to fix that, Cong said. 

One telling example is the ride-sharing business, said Cong. "For example, in North China's Tianjin Municipality, there are 380,000 cars running on the ride-sharing platform Didi, but only registered taxis are counted in the GDP data collection process in the current system, Cong noted.

Global Times
Newspaper headline: NBS taking over regional GDP data


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