In 2016, China’s GDP grew at 6.7%, the country’s lowest growth rate in 26 years, but at least it somehow managed to still meet government expectations.
In each of the first three quarters of 2016, China’s GDP grew at a remarkably steady rate of 6.7%, which economists found a wee bit fishy. However, the country’s fourth quarter growth rate of 6.8% should put suspicions to rest.
Guys, we can't put out 6.7 *again*. People will get suspicious! Go with 6.8
— China Beige Book (@ChinaBeigeBook) January 20, 2017
6.7% growth falls neatly into Beijing’s target of 6.5% to 7% growth in 2016. It also marks the third year in a row that China has posted its lowest growth rate since 1990. Last year, it was 6.9%. The year before that, 7.3%. Falling far down from dizzying heights like 15.2% in 1984.
And yet, many experts believe that the true rate might just be even lower than what the government reports, suggesting that China has propped up its economic statistics with unsustainable state spending and easy credit, not to mention some creative accounting methods.
Coincidentally, only a few days before this data was announced, the governor of Liaoning province apologized for how the province had artificially inflated its GDP data from 2011 to 2014 by at least 20% each year.
Experts believe that this practice might not have been only confined to Liaoning.
[Images via China Daily]
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