enter image description here

Hi all. According to google we have: China GDP 2017=12.24 trillion USD China GDP 2016=11.19 trillion USD Therefore China GDP 2017 growth rate=(12.24-11.19)/11.19=0.0938 that is approximately 9.4% However according to google China GDP growth rate 2017 is equal to 6.9% Why those numbers do not correspond?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The Chinese economy doesn’t function in USD. $\endgroup$ Jan 25, 2019 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ In CNY the data is following: China GDP 2017=82.71 trillion CNY; China GDP 2016=74.41 trillion CNY; (82.71-74.41)/74.41=0.1115 $\endgroup$ Jan 25, 2019 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


Google's figures for China's GDP are simply taken from the World Bank's "GDP (current US\$)" (NY.GDP.MKTP.CD):

  • 2016: 11190992550229.5 USD -- Google rounds this off to US\$11.19 trillion.
  • 2017: 12237700479375 USD -- Google rounds this off to US\$12.24 trillion.

(As you point out, the growth rate from the above figures should be ≈9.4%.)

Google's figure of 6.9% for China's 2017 GDP growth is simply taken from the World Bank's "GDP growth (annual %)" (NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG). Which, as you point out, is a discrepancy with our computed 9.4%.

But look at the "Details" on the last linked page, which explains:

Annual percentage growth rate of GDP at market prices based on constant local currency.

That is, the growth rate is calculated from the World Bank's "GDP (constant LCU)" (NY.GDP.MKTP.KN), for which we have these China figures:

  • 2016: 73521858296478.3 CNY
  • 2017: 78594866518935.4 CNY

And now we do indeed get the figure of 6.9%.*

The lesson here is that when making GDP comparisons across time or space, there are some adjustments that one can choose to make. What adjustments one makes can lead to different results.

*A little strangely, the 6.9% is exactly precise. Which suggests that instead of calculating the growth rate using estimated GDP figures, the World Bank's GDP figures for China are calculated using the estimated 6.9% growth rate.

In general, with national income and product accounts (NIPA), there is a great deal of crude estimation and sausage making. You shouldn't take too much faith in any numbers past the first one or two significant figures. This is especially the case for China where, in addition to measurement difficulties faced everywhere, economic data are manipulated for political purposes.

  • $\begingroup$ Your asterisk point about exactly 6.9% is curious, as the previous year produces exactly 6.7% real growth, while the year before that is not quite so round (6.9002% - did they start at 6.9% and then accidentally add something?) and earlier years look as if they used a different calculation method. Issues with China's reported GDP figures have been well known for many years: reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-wikileaks/… $\endgroup$
    – Henry
    Jan 26, 2019 at 10:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.