The prime minister's economic advisory council met, deliberated, and predicted that economic growth in the forthcoming year would not be 9 percent as aimed at, but 8.5 percent.
There are many deliberate lies in such a statement; it is meant to decieve.
In the first place, there is no such organism like a 'national economy'. In any society there are millions of firms, individuals and households that are really 'economies' in any meaningful sense, at least in the sense that Aristotle meant: the Greek word okonomos refers to the running of a household. All these 'little economies' are growing or falling at varying rates and a national average is meaningless.
The bigger deceit, of course, is that the prime minister, his central planners, and their economic advisors, are doing something positive to make this growth happen: that is, without these efforts the 8.5 percent growth would not happen. Government and economic growth go together, the public is supposed to believe.
To a classical liberal, it is only when each individual economic agent, responsible for his own okonomos, is completely liberated under law, freed from all government imposed restraints, that each little okonomos will grow - and take the nation upwards along with it.
So if unilateral free trade was instituted, the customs department abolished, if taxes were cut and the bureaucracy greatly downsized, and all economic restrictions removed, the 'national economy' would grow at such stupendous rates that no statistician would even be able to measure it.
Which brings me to the question of measurement: What do these statistical measurements mean? Are they accurate? Do they convey any 'meaningful' information? Or are they just more and more of the Orwellian 'newspeak' of the modern State?
At least one country did without this bullshit. John Cowptherwaite, the colonial civil servant sent to run Hong Kong in the 40s, achieved a huge economic turnaround for this little island without any statistical bureau advising him. He believed that such statistics were mischievous, and would be misused by socialists someday. So he deliberately axed all plans to set up a government statistical bureau in Hong Kong. When he arrived, Hong Kong was covered with the shanties and slums of poor migrants. When he left in the 70s, Hong Kong had been transformed into an island of gleaming towers, with a per capita ownership of Rolls-Royce cars higher than that of its colonial master, Great Britain.
For more on this great civil servant, read my tribute to Sir John here.