"Willfully fraudulent" inflation and GDP data could have China's true GDP overstated by 8-12%, or nearly $1T, according to a new study from Peking University.
Beijing's numbers have always been treated with skepticism, but this report is the first to try quantify the scale of the manipulation. "It is disturbing that a statistical body would so obviously manipulate and produce blatantly fraudulent data," says report author Chris Balding.
One particular boner: Official stats have private housing prices up 8.14% over the last 11 years. "The claim that the housing component of CPI grew by less than 10% between 2000 and 2011 is nothing less than comical," writes Balding.