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Chinese data differences 'will be quite large'

Rachel Wheeler

December 14, 2009

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Data quality issues uncovered by the IMF in their investigation of Chinese data management services are hampered by the country's "book-keeping discrepancies", according to a market analyst.

The National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC) will have large inconsistencies between the true Chinese data and the official retail sales data seen by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in their technical assistance mission to the country, financial trader Susan Weerts commented.

She added: "It is well-known that the Chinese firms keep at least three sets of books, one for reporting, one for tax and one for themselves. As the NBSC surveys are based on accounting data, and given that most consumption is 'under the table' the discrepancy … is likely to be very large."

This news follows the IMF's publication of its mission report last month.

The document highlighted the limited focus on data accessibility and the lack of credibility in statistics as issues hampering China's data quality.
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