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Measuring GDP in Asia

  • The quality of economic data across Asia-Pacific region varies considerably across countries, mainly as a result of lack of statistical capacity, making comparisons of GDP of dubious value.
  • China’s economic data faces a large problem of credibility because of the lack of independence of its statistical office and a number of anomalies between published data and externally estimated data.
  • Most Asia-Pacific countries use a national income accounting standard which does not record the informal economy which could account for an estimated additional average of 28% of GDP across the region.
  • Many countries have seriously out of date base years and it is estimated that bring these up to date could also add as much 1.2% on average to existing levels of GDP, equivalent to nearly US$ 0.54 trillion.
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Data Releases - Sales Managers Indexes

New from World Economics: The Sales Managers' Index: Asia

Asian Growth Continues to Increase in September
New from World Economics: The Sales Managers' Index: China

China’s Sales Growth Remains Robust but Business Confidence Evaporates
Also see: ManufacturingNon-Manufacturing
New from World Economics: The Sales Managers' Index: India

September Data Bring Further Evidence of a Sharp Post GST Recovery in the Indian Economy
New from World Economics: The Sales Managers' Index: Mongolia

Mongolian Recovery
Regains Momentum

New from World Economics: The Sales Managers' Index: Philippines

Philippines Economic Growth Remains Strong in September

Data Releases - Growth Trackers

Growth Tracker: China

China’s official data shows total Chinese exports grew by 4.8% in July. Meanwhile steel production remained strong in July as cement production fell at a yearly rate of 0.9%.
Growth Tracker: India' Index: India

Total Indian Exports eased to US$22,543 million in July. Indian Steel production slowed to 7950 metric tons in June, down -1.1% year on year. Year-on-Year Industrial Production growth slowed stable 2.8% in June, from -3.4% in May.

Recent Papers on Asia

  Poor Chinese Consumption Data
Creates Savings Myth

Chinese official statistics underestimate consumption expenditure on housing, they omit consumption paid for as benefits by the corporate sector and there are a number of problems with the household expenditure surveys. 

  Investing in Mongolia
The recent decision by Chalco, the aluminium company of China, to drop its US$926 billion takeover of a controlling interest mining company SouthGobi Resources has been a response to a wave of resource nationalism building up in Mongolia.

  Asset Poverty in Rural India
n order to formulate policy to target the correctly identified rural poor in India, focus on an income poverty measure alone is insufficient. The purpose of this study is to study a new area of poverty measurement based on a data which gives a household’s access to basic assets.

  Raising Consumption, Maintaining Growth and Reducing Emissions
China’s 12th five-year plan represents a radical change in strategy. China now sees its future growth within this strategy and accordingly as driven by: a rising share of consumption; moving to a low-carbon economy; and innovation. Two indicators are examined...

  Is Chinese Economic Growth Stalling?
An in-depth look at the differences in official economic data and private surveys, each shows a very different picture.

  Indian Wholesale and
Consumer Price Indices

The creation of the new index is a response to the findings of the National Statistical Commission which found deficiencies in the collection of price data and the compilation of indices.

  Why is the Chinese Saving
Rate so High?

China’s saving rate is high from many perspectives – historical experience, international standards and model predictions. Furthermore, the average saving rate has been rising over time.

  Vietnam: From Transitional
State to Asian Tiger?

Vietnams growth is still far behind the leading East Asian economies. We consider the Vietnamese growth strategy in light of the controversies about ‘accumulation vs assimilation’ and ‘non-intervention vs governing the market’.

More Papers From The Archive

  On Economic Growth and Domestic Saving in India
The onset of gradual economic reforms since the 1980s provided some fillip to growth, and the momentum was carried forward through the adoption of a wide-ranging structural adjustment program since the beginning 1990s.

  Recent Developments on the
Rare Earth Front

Chinese actions in the rare earths market have raised a number of concerns about the country’s motives in restricting exports. 

  Communist China’s Capitalism
This article explains the contemporary Chinese–American economic relationship as an ironic variant of the classical theory of capitalist imperialism. 

  A Rising Consumer Class
India has had two stages of growth, both related to consumption since 1947. The first was based on developing economic self sufficiency; the second on rising disposable income. It is now entering its third period...

  The Chinese Renminbi (Yuan)
This paper is a tentative endeavour to delineate the potential of the Renminbi to become a global currency. It first analyses the critical economic, financial and policy attributes that are required to support a currency to gain an international role...

  Measuring China’s Performance
China is the world’s fastest growing economy and is also the second largest. However, the official estimates of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics exaggerate GDP growth and need adjustment to conform to international norms as set out in the 1993 System of National Accounts.

  Maddison and Wu: ‘Measuring China’s Economic Performance’
Maddison and Wu (2008) claim that, in 2003, China’s GDP was 73% of that of the United States on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. Rejecting the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), they construct their own PPP using a 1986 GDP estimate for China.

  The Work of Angus Maddison
The late Angus Maddison (1927-2010) made an outstanding contribution to economic history. Following a career as a senior economist in the OECD he worked on a monumental statistical analysis of the historical growth in the world economy over 2000 years including China.

  Building on Angus Maddison’s Work
 This article argues the case for continuing and building on Maddison’s work through a wide-ranging cooperative scholarly programme.

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