Recently, the National Bureau of Statistics announced the country’s 31 provincial GDP data for the first three quarters of this year. The total of the 31 provincial GDP was 43.95 trillion yuan, which exceeded the national statistics of 38.68 trillion by 5.3 trillion.
In fact, this phenomenon has been going on for years. The media have been reporting that, since 1985, when the central government and provincial and local level governments started to compile GDP data independently, the sum of the provincial GDP data has been higher than the national statistics, and the gap has been increasing. For example, the total of the 2009 provincial GDP was above the national figure by 2.68 trillion yuan; the gap increased to 3 trillion yuan in 2010, 4.6 trillion in 2011 and 5.76 in 2012.
According to Liu Yuanchun, the Vice president of Renmin University of China, the main cause is that local governments engage in data manipulation. In order to accomplish the tasks such as energy conservation and performance goals, including GDP growth, local governments modify the data to make it look better. When the reporter interviewed a county government fiscal chief in a city in West China, the official affirmed that such data fraud is almost a routine.
source: Xinhua, November 27, 2013