Poor Economic Statistics Fuel China’s Low Consumption Myth

Jun Zhang (First Author), Tian Zhu (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


The generally held belief that China’s consumption is too low is a myth based on inadequate theory, a misreading of official statistics and the use of market exchange rates for making international comparisons. 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 employed. An adjustment for statistical issues suggests that the rate of consumption is 60–65% of GDP, not the 48% based on the widely quoted official statistics figures, and is quite similar to the level experienced by other East Asian economies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Economics
Issue numberJune
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Indexed by

  • ABDC-B


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