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SCIO press conference on China's economic performance in 2023

China.org.cn | January 26, 2024


21st Century Business Herald:

My question concerns the fifth national economic census. China formally commenced its fifth national economic census on Jan. 1, 2024. What is the current progress? What innovations does this census feature compared to the previous four, and how is its quality guaranteed? Thank you.

Kang Yi:

Thank you for your questions. The fifth national economic census is a significant survey of the country's overall situation and strength, conducted as the Chinese people embark on a new journey in a new era. It will determine the economic background of our country and keep track of the progress of high-quality development. At present, the unit inventory survey has been successfully completed, and the census has entered the stage of orderly implementation since the first day of this year. On Jan. 3, Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang set clear requirements for the ongoing census during an inspection in Beijing where he guided on-site registration of census and visited staff members at the community level. The related work is currently being promoted in an orderly manner. The registration part of the census, planned to be conducted from January to April, is of great significance for the entire census since it is vital to acquire high-quality economic data. 

The key innovations of the fifth national economic census primarily focus on supporting high-quality development, enriching the content, and introducing new methods. The fifth national economic census will comprehensively examine the development status, layout, and efficiency of China's secondary and tertiary industries. Building on this, we will expand the scope of statistical survey, enrich its content, and improve its system. These steps aim to foster a statistical monitoring system with high-quality development. The innovations include the following three aspects:

First, this is the first time we've carried out an input-output survey in a coordinated way. Previously, input-output surveys and economic census were conducted separately. The fifth national economic census combines these two, facilitating better data integration of both economic aggregates and structures.

Second, we will further improve the statistics of the "three new" economy. The newly added digital economy survey will more accurately depict the digitalization of China's economic development. The survey on the platform economy will be conducted in a systematic way, laying the groundwork for identifying the development of new industries, new business formats and new business models.

Third, the methods have been innovated. We have continued to improve the use of departments' administrative records, introduced a self-reporting method for collecting census data, developed a mobile mini-program for data collection for the first time, and established an electronic ledger for input-output statistics for the first time, improving the efficiency of the census.

The quality of data is the fundamental standard for determining the success of the census. Throughout the process, we will attach great importance to data quality, implementing a series of measures to ensure its integrity.

First, we have regulated data collection. This time, the census will combine on-site collection by enumerators, self-reporting and data submitted by departments, which will strictly control human interference in the data collection process to ensure the quality of the source data.

Second, we will use a variety of methods for data review and check. The data will be reviewed as soon as it is collected. We will comprehensively use big data and various analysis methods to carry out data review and verification, and conduct on-site inspections in a timely manner. After the census registration is completed, the economic census office will also organize another round of sampling check to comprehensively inspect the data quality.

Third, we will resolutely investigate and punish any instances of census falsification. We will conduct the census in accordance with the law, firmly resist all forms of interference with census data, strengthen examinations of statistical law enforcement, incorporate the fifth national economic census into our statistical supervision, punish any violation of law and discipline as soon as it is exposed, and hold the responsible parties accountable in accordance with the law and regulations.

At present, there are more than 2.1 million enumerators (including surveyors and assistants) who are going into businesses and communities to complete data collection, and the data is being reported in an orderly manner.

Here, I would like to thank all the census respondents for their support and the hard work of the census workers. I also hope that friends from the media will continue to support, report on, and supervise the census so we can jointly deliver a satisfactory report and ensure the high-quality execution of the fifth national economic census. Thank you.

Shou Xiaoli:

Due to time constraints, we will take the last two questions.

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