As Growth Stalls, China Keeps Economic Data Out of Sight

October 21, 2022

As China endures its most prolonged economic slowdown in years, clear data from the nation is getting harder to find, according to a Wall Street Journal report

The Journal reports that China’s National Bureau of Statistics “abruptly canceled the release of quarterly gross domestic product data just hours before it was set to be published” earlier this week, offering no reason or setting a new release date.

The move comes just days after China’s customs agency failed to release monthly trade figures, also without explanation.

Economists who spoke to the Journal said there is “no obvious precedent” for the move, but the Journal notes that the moves come amid the nation’s Communist Party congress, where Xi Jinping is expected to secure a third leadership term.

While the two recent instances are the most glaring examples, the Journal notes that many investors and academics are facing ” increasing sensitivities around economic data and commentary that have made analysis of the world’s second-largest economy more difficult.”

This week’s GDP data was widely expected to show a marked slowdown. Economists polled by the Journal projected GDP growth of 3.5% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, making it unlikely that the nation would hit its official growth target for the year of 5.5%.

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