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China Delays Release of GDP Data During CCP Congress

The data for China’s gross domestic product had been highly anticipated after its economy grew just 0.4% in the second quarter. Other economic data has also been suspended.

China has put off the planned release of key economic data, including third quarter GDP details, during its week-long Communist Party congress.
This image shows citizens in Beijing wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid - China's tough zero-Covid policy has been used to curb the spread of the virus but this has meant widespread lockdowns that have hit the economy hard. Photo: Thomas Peter, Reuters.


China has put off the planned release of key economic data, including third quarter GDP details, during its week-long Communist Party congress.

A note on the country’s statistics bureau’s website announced that the data would be delayed from Tuesday but no date given when the information would be published.

Data for third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) has been highly anticipated after the world’s second-largest economy grew just 0.4% in the second quarter from a year earlier.

A person answering the telephone in the media office at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the change was “due to adjustment to work arrangements” but gave no further details.

GDP was expected to have expanded 3.4% in July-September, according to a Reuters poll, as the economy started to feel the impact of a raft of government supportive policies introduced in recent months.

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All Eyes On Congress

“The delayed economic data release is not because of bad economic recovery but the ongoing congress, as authorities want media and the public to concentrate on the key messages delivered by the big event,” Bruce Pang, chief economist at Jones Lang Lasalle in Hong Kong, said.

September releases for a host of other figures including industrial production, retail sales and the urban jobless rate that are typically issued along with the GDP data had also been delayed, the NBS website said.

Also delayed was data for China’s home prices for September, which had been scheduled for publication on Wednesday.

Trade Data Delayed

The news follows the unexplained delay in the release of September’s trade data by the General Administration of Customs, which had been due out on Friday.

The trade statistics had been expected to show China’s export growth weakened further from August, dragged down by soft global demand, while its imports remained tepid.

The trade data was not released on Monday and calls to the Customs administration seeking comment went unanswered.

At the conclusion of this week’s congress, President Xi Jinping is widely expected to win a precedent-breaking third leadership term.

  • Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon




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Alfie Habershon

Alfie is a Reporter at Asia Financial. He previously lived in Mumbai reporting on India's economy and healthcare for data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, as well as having worked for London based Tortoise Media.


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