BEIJING, Dec. 24 -- The reform plan of China's official housing price statistics will take effect next year, said Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Thursday.
"The bureau and statisticians will reform real estate price statistics by carefully implementing the new plan and taking advantage of original data from departments keeping track of the real estate market," he said.
Housing statistics have held the attention of both the public and economists since 2009, owing to concerns over rising asset bubbles caused by an overheated real estate market, which still haunts the economy.
Official housing price data had come under fire as conflicts between those figures and the public's perceptions intensified. Some observers said the actual growth was much higher than the officially released rate.
Vowing to improve the accuracy and credibility of its data, the NBS published a detailed reform plan for housing price statistics on Sept 25. The plan suggested making better use of data from the market supervisors, instead making calculations based on housing developers' data.
"The year 2011 will be crucial for us. We will continue to improve data quality and enhance the credibility of official figures through deepening reforms in our work," he said.
In addition to improving the accuracy of housing price statistics next year, attention will be given to unifying provincial and central methods of GDP calculation.
"A significant and crucial reform of provincial GDP calculation will be undertaken in the next year. Statistics bureaus at all levels must support the reform and ensure it achieves the expected results," Ma said.
The aggregate of the GDP figures reported by local governments is often said to exceed the overall national figure released by the NBS, giving rise to concern that the local governments may have inflated the statistics to show themselves highly capable in managing the local economy.
The NBS is also planning to revamp the indices that have raised public concern. It will adopt unified standards and refine the method used for calculations, he said.
In addition, a direct online data collection system will be set up over the next two years to achieve these reforms, which will help respondents communicate data for indices - such as the consumer price index, a key measure of inflation - directly to the bureau without interference from local governments, Ma said.