5 Year Statistics and Exports

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Godfree Roberts says:

Have you ever investigated the results of a Chinese Five Year Plan? Just one? They’re all published online, as are the claimed results.

Have you ever dived deep into official Chinese statistics? If you did, did you find anomalies suggesting they’re inaccurate or misleading?

I’ve been paddling around at the shallow end in the deep pool of Beijing’s official figures since 1951. By now, I can now check almost any official statistic against several others, usually from open, multinational sources like the World Bank, the CIA and the OECD.

So far, the figures line up: claimed GDP growth matches (actually trails) observed wage rises of 6% a year compounded, for example. The WTO says the country’s exports and imports match its records, that its trade is in balance with the world and that exports are moving up the value chain as predicted.

Authorities as diverse as Mark Mobius, who invested billions in both countries, says China’s stats are as good as Canada’s. So does Hong Kong University’s Prof. Carsten Holz, who has devoted decades to verifying China’s stats.

I suggest you go to China regularly, as I do, and visit second, third and fourth tier cities to see if what you see lines up with the official stats.

China’s trade with the world, imports/exports, is in balance.

China is a below-average exporter. Compared to Germany, her exports account for less than half as much of GDP. China is even less export dependent than Canada.

You can see Chinese tariffs here:


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