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China Adopts "New" GDP-Boosting Accounting System

Tyler Durden's picture


China's GDP is about to undergo the same magic that US GDP received earlier in the year. The "Chinese system of National Accounts" will see five significant adjustments that are expected to (surprise) boost the size of the nation's estimate of its GDP. The National Bureau of Statistics is considering making the changes to reflect the latest economic and social developments and implement the reform guidelines unveiled at the 3rd Plenum recently. From the addition of research and development - intellectual properrty - (just as the US did) to including mark-to-market changes (read rises) in employee stock options and real estate in consumption data, the Chinese appear dead set on making a once-unbelievably goal-seeked number into an entirely fantastical representation of reality (which of course enables moar higher manipulation as to avoid any debt-to-gdp hurdles that the real world might see as a concern).


Via Xinhua,

The nation plans to give GDP readings and the revised historical figures of this indicator under new calculation method after the end of this year...

the U.S. revised its GDP data, the most important amendments is to research and development expenditures as well as entertainment, literary and artistic originals such as fixed capital formation expenditure included in GDP. This great repercussions in the international arena, in China also attracted relatively widespread concern, there has been speculation heated debate whether China's national accounting system to do the appropriate amendments?

New accounting system will likely increase in total GDP:

The plan includes 5 key sections that change how the nation's balance sheet and income (consumption) is calculated...

1. the introduction of the concept of intellectual property products, research and development expenditures will be included in GDP


2. the introduction of "economic ownership" concept, so that more reflect the actual accounting results


3. the rapid development of the real estate market, housing prices and rents are rising


4. land contract management rights transfer income to become an important part of farmers' income


5. the employee stock options included workers compensation

Which leaves 3 critical aspects of make-believe for Chinese GDP statistsics:

1. Research and development expenditure will be included in GDP - based on best guesses, historical and current R&D will be "priced" into GDP data leaving plenty of scope for a goal-seeked guess at what the number needs to be.


2. Accounting of actual final consumption - this means that government-provided services - that improve people's living standards - will be 'valued' and added to consumption data. This includes education, health, social security and other spending data. Furthermore, the mark-to-market gains from employee stock options will be included in final consumption data (so even more need to keep that stock market high for the PBOC)...


3. Gains (losses) from housing - the GDP data will include some adjustment based on the mark-to-market of home prices as a consumption-based positive. In other words, as the bubble grows, the rise in house/real estate prices will be included in GDP consumption calculations


In other words, China will be adding to its base GDP data all the bubble-driven aspects of the economy as the bubble continues to grow... one can only imagine what that will do to a) volatility, and b) the downswing when these 'adjustments' are forced the 'wrong' way...

On the bright side, this plan is not expected to be fully implemented until 2015 - and who knows what this will all look like by then...

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Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:05 | 4165291 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

mark-to-market changes (read rises) in employee stock options and real estate in consumption data

Surely this just enforced the willingness to blow up bubbles, regardless of cost, as any drop would (or rather, should, as no doubt it won't) be reflected as a drop in GDP?

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:16 | 4165331 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

No way!

China is going to emerge as THE King Kong, with an economic empire, owning all real, valuable assets, and military superiority within a decade at most.

I hear it all the time from the smartest people!

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:20 | 4165350 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

China is to the 21st century what Germany was to the 20th century and the elite in the U.S. and China would like nothing better than a world that works for Chinese wages.  It has been this way since 1971.

Hedge accordingly.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:23 | 4165363 walküre
walküre's picture

mark 2 .gov

Whatever .gov says it's worth, it is worth.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 13:05 | 4165556 Stuart
Stuart's picture

what the fuck is the point of following or even having rules if you're just going to change them each time they start restricting your plans or working against your advantage....  

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 15:04 | 4166116 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

When the numbers aren't good enough to accomplish whatever it is they're trying to accomplish (e.g. paint the tape; e.g. put lipstick on pigs, etc.), change the methodology/formula is such a way that makes it easier to accomplish.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 19:35 | 4167417 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Where does this meme end?

The dems defense of the obamacare debacle is now, "Everyone lies." (So, it's OK)

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 19:38 | 4167422 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

It's for the sheeple. Sheeple demand rules to follow, to obey. It's their nature or their flock (swarm) will become a riot. It's OK if the rule are lies, fake or change frequently, as long as their are rules to be obeyed.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:09 | 4165293 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

When the old laws/rules don't allow you to keep stealing (transfering wealth to the top 1%), simply change the rules or methodology use to "report" things like GDP and inflation to the sheep.  This should kill whatever remaining commodity producers there were in China.  Bullish for American farmers and monsanto...

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:10 | 4165313 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

That's right, keep copying the US, you idiots.  You're playing right into our (bankruptcy) trap!

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:17 | 4165316 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Jeezus...why don't they just post the numbers they want and spare us the zany statistical bullshit  ?

It's not like we don't already know that all provinces of China are Greece.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:12 | 4165317 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

China and the US Fed are on the same page. Printing money - will be added into GDP. GDP is whatever the US and Chinese poliburos want to say it is. 

Why even issue Gov't bonds? Just print $$ and have the stock options and "research and development" of private companies be counted towards GDP. Buying dividend stocks are the new "bonds".

Inflation is great for the lenders (Int'l banking cartels) and the PBOC is becoming one of the world's largest lenders... not too late to get into the game.

Why didn't all those western, old white men over the past 300 years ever think of that ? "Cause they were racist ? 

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:18 | 4165339 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct, this has been the case since 1971.  The Chinese are masters of propaganda and central planning, they have a long history with fiat currency and the genocide that must be accomplished to keep the state and fiat in power.

hedge accordingly.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:30 | 4165392 walküre
walküre's picture

"since 1971"

Yes, have a good look at any inflation related chart since then and prepare for the vertical blow off and a total hockey stick to the moon shoot.

In the meantime, back on Earth. People need to eat and debt paper doesn't feed people. How much longer you think before .gov has to take over and RUN Big Ag because nobody wants to carry the privately held risk to feed millions and get paid in paper?

Farmers are shutting down as a direct result of Fed policies. I've seen what happens when .gov runs businesses or worse yet, farms.

Central planning never works and millions will starve to death in China as well as Europe and North America. The walls of their houses plastered with worthless stock certs for wallpaper.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 19:14 | 4167309 MeelionDollerBogus
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But fink of da shilldren!
We kin print moar wheet(tm)!

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:27 | 4165377 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The beatings will continue until moral improves.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 16:54 | 4166619 MeelionDollerBogus
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The beatings will continue until the beatings improve! :-)

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:32 | 4165399 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"...enables moar higher manipulation as to avoid any debt-to-gdp hurdles that the real world might see as a concern)."


Nothing occurs in a vacuum.  1+1 still ALWAYS =2.  Enron hid bad debts in shell companies and it still didn't matter as 1+1 ALWAYS = 2.

This GDP manipulation gimmick will not work.  it will just hide something for a while until the math catches up with it.  The real world came to see through Enron's gimmick and i for one already see through the GDP gimmick.  It is just a phony number.  Imagine having a recession with a positive GDP.  They might as well say the GDP was 10 last quarter, instead of 2.8.  Higher is better, so just make up a higher number.  That way we can pretend U.S. GDP is higher than any other country.  Just ignore the 48 million people on food stamps.


Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:35 | 4165410 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"The Chinese are masters of propaganda"


If you like your plan, you can keep it.  The Chinese can't compete with Obama.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:35 | 4165411 TheFreeLance
TheFreeLance's picture

Awesome. This surely means all those fake Chinese solar panels will start working.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:44 | 4165464 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

well...our own fucked up government did it first.  Why shouldn't all the other fucked up governments follow suit and do it too?  It's all skittles and unicorns and pixie dust now anyways.  If all central banks are in a currency war, printing as fast as they can to the bottom, then why not all governments get in a revised GDP war and make their numbers say anything they want them to?  It only fits the full-retard actions we've been living through (barely) for the last many years.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:50 | 4165493 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"New accounting system will likely increase in total GDP"


Remove the word likely.  Mark GDP to model, or in other words whatever fantasy the government wants it to be. 

What else can be added to GDP, to make the number appear even larger?  Homework assignments?  House cleaning? Mowing your lawn?  Taking a nap?  How about breathing?  It produces carbon dioxide.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:56 | 4165514 moneybots
moneybots's picture

With the new accounting, U.S. GDP was "higher" in the  third quarter, but a poll shows that Christmas shoppers are planning 10% less on presents this year. 

A phony GDP number isn't impressing John Q Public.


Mon, 11/18/2013 - 13:18 | 4165618 bentaxle
bentaxle's picture

And for this China needs large gold holdings, why?

Presumably tyrrany is easier to prosecute with a fiat based currency system?

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 13:51 | 4165744 iLiquid
iLiquid's picture

PBOC doesn't want (yet) to go batshit insane with fiat printing, for now.  Actually it is still reeling from the printing hangover of 2009.  Compared with GDP, the PB worries much more about excessive inflation.

For this to work, the PB must dispose of its massive USD portfolio that must be matched dollar-for-dollar by domestic CNY as long as it stays in China.  To do this, it may either invest it abroad, or pay it for imports.  Gold, in this regard, is more of an import than an investment.  As long as the PB buys and holds gold with USD fiat, it has one less thing to worry about the liquidity glut.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 14:23 | 4165902 sbenard
sbenard's picture

Are they going to begin adding "intangibles" now too?

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 15:23 | 4166189 The_Dude
The_Dude's picture

1. the introduction of the concept of intellectual property products, research and development expenditures will be included in GDP


How do you put a value on IP that you stole from someone else?  Do you get to account for the man hours to reverse engineer their technology? Do you get to value IP based on their sales forecast or the market potential that you hope to steal?

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 16:07 | 4166375 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

How do you steal public information that has no single owner?
the entire world owns public information, it is public & by definition CAN'T be kept to a singular owner. The very concept is preposterous.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 15:24 | 4166205 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

So does stealing intellectual property count toward GDP or do you have to actually create it to have it count?  If the former, then I don't see much delta for Chinese GDP.

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 14:08 | 4166323 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

since the very concept of intellectual "property" is a fraud it shouldn't have any economic accounting metric.


Copyright (and patent) is information terrorism

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 15:54 | 4166313 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Moar fraud! Hooray!

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 16:41 | 4166552 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

LOL the same folks doing us are doing china with the same scam

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