FRED on Chinese Economic Data

FRED: China's Economic Data: An Accurate Reflection, or Just Smoke and Mirrors?

As soon as economists start altering data, even something as simple as seasonality, they are deviating from reality. Some Chinese data points are more suspect, such as GDP, but then all GDP is somewhat suspect given the major revisions that take place.

The more skeptical you are of Chinese data, the more it makes a case against economic planning and the field of economics. If its all fabricated numbers and they're achieving real growth, then why even keep statistics? It brings to mind this paper on Hong Kong: GOVERNMENT WITHOUT STATISTICS: POLICY-MAKING IN HONG KONG 1925-85, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.

Also: Freedom Works: The Case of Hong Kong
The laissez-faire attitude of the Hong Kong government on economic matters was cemented by Sir John Cowperthwaite, the colony’s financial secretary from 1961 to 1971, whom Welsh called a “political economist in the tradition of Gladstone or John Stuart Mill” and the personification of “unreconstructed Manchester-school free traders.” Cowperthwaite had almost complete control of Hong Kong government finances and used it to implement his policy of “positive nonintervention.” Friedman gave Cowperthwaite a great deal of the credit for Hong Kong’s success, citing approvingly Cowperthwaite’s refusal to collect most economic statistics on the grounds that “[i]f I let them compute those statistics, they’ll want to use them for planning.”
The most important data point is debt. How much of Chinese economic growth is tied to an expansion of credit? How much will survive a downturn in the credit cycle?

No comments:

Post a Comment