Deconstructing China's GDP Statistics

Posted: 23 Aug 2004

See all articles by Carsten A. Holz

Carsten A. Holz

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science


China's National Bureau of Statistics has on repeated occasions explained in great detail how its GDP statistics are derived from underlying data. Based on these explanations, this article reconstructs Chinese official household consumption, which accounts for half of GDP. The findings are condemning. Not only do the various official explanations offered between 1997 and 2001 differ from each other, but none allows the researcher to accurately reconstruct household consumption. The relationship between the GDP component household consumption and the underlying data, furthermore, varies from year to year, which suggests that time series comparisons of Chinese GDP may be invalid.

Keywords: Chinese statistics, national income accounting, System of National Accounts (SNA), household surveys, population statistics

JEL Classification: C80, O53, P24, P30

Suggested Citation

Holz, Carsten A., Deconstructing China's GDP Statistics. Available at SSRN:

Carsten A. Holz (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science ( email )

Division of Social Science
Clear Water Bay
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong

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