The International Monetary Fund, for instance, estimates that China's economy grew by 6.8 percent in 2015 and forecasts it will expand by 6.3 percent in 2016.
"While there is evidence that the old growth engine, powered by manufacturing, investment and exports, has started to stutter, we find far fewer indicators that point to a pickup in consumption. This is contrary to China's official GDP breakdown, which suggests that activity in the tertiary sector is not only the largest as a share of nominal GDP but also the fastest growing, with annual growth outpacing that of both primary and secondary industries," Fathom said.
The official GDP data reported by Chinese regional government is particularly questionable. In December, China official news agency, Xinhua, reported that economic levels in parts of China's northeastern rust belt were overstated.
One county in Liaoning province posted extra fiscal revenue of 847 million yuan ($129 million) in 2013, 127 percent higher than the real figure, according to media reports.