The Economic Indicators That Matter to China’s Next Premier

Posted by Forexsq 526 days ago (http://www.cnbc.com)
img Forget GDP, it doesn’t tell the whole story about a country’s economy. Focus instead on these economic indicators: electricity consumption, rail cargo and bank loans.

This is apparently what Li Keqiang, expected to take over as premier in China’ leadership transition, said at a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in 2007, according to a Wikileaks cable.

The Chinese GDP figure is “man-made” and for “reference only,” he was quoted as saying.

While it’s not clear whether Li stands by these views, economists say it is fair to treat the Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) with some caution.

The latest data shows China’s economy grew 7.4 percent in third quarter from a year earlier, putting the economy on course for its slowest annual expansion in 13 years at a rate of about 7.5 percent.

“It would not surprise us if GDP growth is overstated—the economy is likely far weaker than it appears,” said Alistair Thornton, China economist with IHS Global Insight in Beijing.

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