China’s GDP Set to Grow Due to Change in Statistical Methods


China’s National Bureau of Statistics is set to make pivotal changes to the statistical method it uses to measure the country’s gross domestic product starting from the third quarter of 2017.

21st Century Business Herald reports that the economic data NBS is scheduled to release on 19 October covering the first three quarters of the year is set to include R&D expenditures for the first time, when previously they had been treated as intermediate capital deductions.

“This matter has already been settled, and will be implemented uniformly throughout the country,” said a province-level NBS official to 21st Century on 9 October.

Cai Zhizhou (蔡志洲), vice-chair of Peking University’s Economic Calculation Research Center, said that the inclusion of R&D expenditures would serve to raise GDP readings by a moderate amount.

“For many developed regions, the share of R&D expenditures is large, and the increase in GDP will be slightly greater,”  said Cai.

NBS has said that the new calculation method would treat the economic benefits brought by R&D expenditures in the same way as fixed capital formation, viewing R&D output as intellectual property that would be included under fixed assets.