Forget GDP, it doesn‚Äôt tell the whole story about a country‚Äôs 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‚Äô leadership transition, said at a meeting with the U.S. ambassador in 2007, according to a Wikileaks cable.
The Chinese GDP figure is ‚Äúman-made‚ÄĚ and for ‚Äúreference only,‚ÄĚ he was quoted as saying.
While it‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúIt would not surprise us if GDP growth is overstated‚ÄĒthe economy is likely far weaker than it appears,‚ÄĚ said Alistair Thornton, China economist with IHS Global Insight in Beijing.
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