China Statistics Agency Sets Up Special Arm to Combat Fake Data

(Bloomberg) -- China’s top statistical authority set up a new supervisory arm to ensure authenticity of its data.

The new enforcement team was formed to meet demands from the central government to improve data quality, according to a statement published on the website of the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

The accuracy of China’s statistics has been questioned in the past as readings such as gross domestic product growth or jobless rates showed uncanny stability, while provincial officials previously had an incentive to inflate growth numbers to enhance their career. Rust-belt province Liaoning admitted this year that it faked fiscal data from 2011 to 2014.

“The crucial work is to prevent and punish data fabrication and ensure the authenticity and accuracy of the statistics,” said Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, according to the statement.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Xiaoqing Pi in Beijing at xpi1@bloomberg.net.

With assistance from Xiaoqing Pi