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.
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