China’s Economic Performance in an International Perspective

Ren Ruoen
Release Date: December 1, 1997

Estimates abound of the rates of growth and inflation in the People’s Republic of China, but most are not internationally comparable. This study by a distinguished Chinese economist applies techniques which do permit international comparisons of the real indicators of Chinese economic performance.

One conclusion is that inflation rates are higher than has been though until now, while GDP growth may be lower. On the other hand, estimating the Chinese GDP at internationally comparable prices shows that the income level of this country is vastly underestimated by official statistics. Such conclusions are likely to change the way we foresee China’s development as a wold economic player in the years to come. The author pleads for refining of Chinese national accounting to harmonise it with internationally recognized systems. In addition, he recommends that the Chinese authorities should strive for better accuracy in their statistical sources.