• Sun
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 4:11am

China's export gains distorted by fake data

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 3:23am

The mainland is poised to post its first slowdown in export growth in three months, a result that may understate the strength of demand after fake reports inflated figures in the year-earlier period.

Growth from last month to April next year would be "depressed" because of the resulting high basis for comparison, Credit Agricole said.

"The trade numbers in the next couple of months, especially on the export side, will not be a good reflection of demand for Chinese products abroad or overall economic activity, because they will be artificially depressed from what happened a year earlier," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, a senior economist and strategist at Credit Agricole.

Citigroup and Everbright Securities' researchers also said last month's gains might be understated because of last year's data distortions.

Meanwhile, overseas shipments probably grew 5.5 per cent last month from a year earlier, analysts forecast ahead of the release today of the latest customs administration report in Beijing, down from August's 7.2 per cent and 9.8 per cent in September last year.

The comparisons will complicate investors' ability to gauge the strength of any economic rebound after two manufacturing gauges trailed projections in September, sapping recovery momentum from earlier in the quarter. Additional scepticism over trade figures builds on broader questions about the quality of Chinese data from gross domestic product to jobs.

Kowalczyk said the latest data would signal just 1 per cent growth in exports for last month, putting him at the low end of 43 projections ranging as high as 8.2 per cent.

He sees a "small contraction" this month, citing over-reporting of export gains.

The General Administration of Customs will also report today that imports rose 7 per cent last month from a year earlier.


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