Economists Have Been Totally Blindsided By This Month's Ugly Chinese Data

In the past week, we got the February tallies of Chinese exports, industrial production, retail sales, and fixed asset investment.

All of the numbers were disappointing, and they all missed economists expectations by a wide margin.

According to Bloomberg BRIEF economist Tom Orlik, Bank of America, UBS, and JP Morgan were among the big investment houses that slashed their GDP forecasts for China.

Morgan Stanley’s Rashique Rahman published this simple chart showing by how much the numbers missed expectations. The points on the chart were computed by taking the China’s reported percentage growth numbers and subtracting the consensus estimate among economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Any thing below the x-axis means the actually numbers were worse than expected.

As you can see, the latest numbers totally caught economists by surprise.

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