Three Things You Need to Know About the Chinese Economy

We’re starting to like this Julian Assange character, trumped-up rape charges in Sweden notwithstanding.

This morning, thanks to the diplomatic cables made public by Assange’s WikiLeaks, we’re getting a better look at GDP numbers published by China.

One of the cables tells of a dinner between the US ambassador to China and the head of the Communist Party. Li Keqiang is his name, and he’s widely expected to become the new premier in a little over two years.

Li says if he really wants the pulse of the economy, he needs to know just three things…

Li Keqiang's Real World Economic Indicator

Heh, Li must be reading from our playbook: We check in from time to time on rail volume and other real-world economic indicators that can’t be massaged by government statisticians.

“By looking at these three figures,” the cable says, “Li said he can measure with relative accuracy the speed of economic growth. All other figures, especially GDP statistics, are ‘for reference only,’ he said smiling,”

Heh. Just like the Bureau of Labor Statistics!

Addison Wiggin
for The Daily Reckoning