China postpones key GDP data in the middle of the Communist Party congress

China at the last minute postponed the release of eagerly anticipated economic data for the third quarter, including the closely watched GDP growth rate, which was due to be released in the middle of the 20th Communist Party Congress.

An explanation for the delay was not provided in an update to the official statistical calendar and no new dates were provided. The National Bureau of Statistics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The latest figures were originally scheduled to be published on Tuesday at a politically sensitive time, with Chinese President Xi Jinping expected to use the party congress to extend his powers for a third term, and to define the country’s overall policy approach.

The economic data was expected to highlight China’s persistent economic vulnerabilities, including a deepening real estate crisis and the impact of strict non-proliferation policies that this year shuttered dozens of major cities, stifled consumption and effectively shut down the country from the rest of the world. .

Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast gross domestic product growth of 3.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, compared with a full-year growth target of 5.5 percent that was already the lowest in three decades.

China recorded anemia growth of only 0.4 percent year on year in the second quarter.

Iris Pang, ING’s chief China economist, noted that delays in lesser known statistical releases, such as customs data, were more common in China and often delayed to avoid clashes with other big events.

“It’s probably because of the noise that can come from these stats,” she said. With the Twentieth Party Congress [in session] It can give a mixed message or an incorrect signal to the markets and make things choppy.”

In another announcement that analysts said appeared to have been coordinated to coincide with the conference, China’s largest state-run banks said they increased lending by 22 percent to $1.3 trillion in the first nine months of the year.

New loans worth 9.53 trillion renminbi indicated that the country’s collections were destined to support the country’s economy affected by the pandemic shutdowns of the Coronavirus and the real estate market crisis.

Most of the new cash was directed toward Xi’s favorite industries including manufacturing, infrastructure, technology and innovation. Four of the major banks It also revealed at least a 25 percent increase in financing for “green loans,” or lending to clean energy projects, in the first three quarters.

State-backed financial groups have also been urged to cut interest rates on loans and mortgages as Beijing tries to support economic growth. But despite the infusion of bank credit, China’s government lenders have not been able to significantly improve business sentiment.

While many experts believe that long-term structural problems such as weak domestic demand and the housing market crisis threaten the stability of the Chinese economy, Xi offered no hints about policy changes in a lengthy opening speech on Sunday.

China Avoiding dramatic moves to stimulate the economy, which is now weighed down by the weakening of the renminbi against the dollar.

“People are expecting more political action but this year it is frankly too late,” said Bert Hoffman, director of the East Asia Institute at the National University of Singapore. “They have revised their forecasts for 2022.”

Xi said on Sunday that his country would “better use the essential role of consumption in stimulating economic growth” as well as tackle “unbalanced development”.

Economists at Morgan Stanley said the party conference nevertheless “reaffirmed that growth remains a top priority”. They cited the goal of a “well-off” society by 2035, which they estimate might correspond to a per capita GDP of $20,000.

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