Indeed, officials in some cities and provinces are also overstating economic output, corporate revenue, corporate profits and tax receipts, the corporate executives and economists said. The officials do so by urging businesses to keep separate sets of books, showing improving business results and tax payments that do not exist. (…)
But an economist with ties to the agency said that officials had begun making inquiries after detecting signs that electricity numbers may have been overstated.
Questions about the quality and accuracy of Chinese economic data are longstanding, but the concerns now being raised are unusual. This year is the first time since 1989 that a sharp economic slowdown has coincided with the once-a-decade changeover in the country’s top leadership.
Officials at all levels of government are under pressure to report good economic results to Beijing as they wait for promotions, demotions and transfers to cascade down from Beijing. So narrower and seemingly more obscure measures of economic activity are being falsified, according to the executives and economists.
“The government officials don’t want to see the negative,” so they tell power managers to report usage declines as zero change, said a chief executive in the power sector. (…)
The next three largest coal storage areas in China — in Tianjin, Caofeidian and Lianyungang — are also at record levels, an executive in China said.
Stocks excedentários, números exagerados, números “políticos”… Nem tudo vai bem no Reino do Panda.
Leitura adicional: Cidades Fantasma Chinesas.