Is China Cooking the Books?
China's official economic statistics are diverging from the private sector.
Outside observers have long complained about the quality of official economic statistics from China but according to Asia Sentinel, the disconnect between what multinational corporations are reporting from China and what the Communist party is touting is growing sharper:
The assembled date, Walker says, indicate that 2012 was significantly weaker than either 2008 or 2009, even though the official GDP numbers show only a marginal tapering off.
"Demand in the real economy was as weak as the picture painted by our PMI and electricity production indicators," Walker writes. "Tax receipts and corporate earnings, not to mention what we know of cash flows in the first half of last year, also indicate the slowest economy in the last half decade, and not by a marginal amount."
Most of these figures show that the boom most China Bulls discovered in the second half of 2012, and the fourth quarter in particular, isn't there.
The Walker quoted above is Dr. John Walker of Asianomics. He has pegged China's real growth rate for 2013 at between zero and four percent. Official Chinese estimates are closer to eight percent.