Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 15:07 | SYDNEY
Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 15:07 | SYDNEY

China by the numbers


Malcolm Cook

9 February 2009 09:46

In the last few months, one of the most watched, revised and hotly debated economic statistics has been China’s GDP growth rate, and forecasts for this number in 2009.

The Chinese Government has committed itself to keeping 2009 growth at or above 8%, while the IMF’s latest 2009 World Economic Outlook predicts 6.7%. Some private sector economists, querying China’s official statistics, think things might be significantly tougher in the world’s third largest economy.

For me, one of the most worrying statistical things about the global financial crisis is the widespread belief that China faces a serious threat of social instability if its GDP growth rate falls below 8%. I'm not sure what calculations are behind this purported 'floor figure' for Chinese social stability, but it is a worry if China needs to maintain such a high level of economic growth or face significant unrest. In Davos, using the statistics queried above, Premier Wen Jiabao forecast that China would grow ‘about’ 8% this year.