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Wednesday, September 23, 2015, 17:56

NDRC refutes doubts on growth data authenticity

By Xinhua

BEIJING - China's top economic planner defended the country's data authenticity on Wednesday in response to assumptions that the government may have distorted growth data to make them look good, saying the claims were either "logically wrong" or "unreliable".

Official data showed China's economy expanded 7 percent in the first half of the year, in line with the annual target, but some China pessimists have claimed that real growth was much lower during the period.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an online statement that doubts about China's data accuracy have been non-stop since the country's reform and opening-up, but those voices have mostly proven ill-founded.

The 7-percent rate in the first half of the year was largely in line with forecasts from major domestic and international research centers such as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and World bank, the statement noted.

In a refutation to claims that the GDP rate has been over-stated by one to two percentage points, the NDRC said slumping import prices have only limited impact on China's GDP calculation and the country now relies on the service industry for growth that consumes less global commodities.

As for those that drew their lower forecasts from the weak indicators such as power use and rail freights, the NDRC said China's economic structure has undergone significant changes, making such indicators less reflective of economic activities such as the rising service industry, which consumes less energy and requires fewer goods.

The service industry contributed to 49.5 percent of GDP growth in the first half of the year, up 6.6 percentage points from the ratio in 2007, the economic planner noted.

China's 7-percent expansion was solidly underpinned by stable economic fundamentals such as rising consumption, recovering investments and exports, as well as a steady job market, the NDRC concluded.

The latest statement came after another NDRC release on Tuesday that said the Chinese government has plenty of policy room and options to achieve its annual growth target of around 7 percent.

With a cooling property market and falling external demand amid tepid global recovery, China's economy has hit a soft patch. In addition, fresh pressure from capital market volatility this summer, currency devaluation in emerging markets and slumping global commodity prices are further muddying growth prospects.

In a written interview with Wall Street Journal, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China's economy is still operating within the proper range and will step efforts to shift growth model.

"China has the capacity and is in the position to maintain a medium-high growth in the years to come," he said.

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