We keep reading reports about how Chinese economic growth slowing, but nobody really believes official statistics. And we don’t see how this jibes with reports of mass factory closures, and the fall-off in global trade which would suggest actual contraction, not just slowing. So maybe we should just ignore the big, headline, state-sponsored statistics and focus on the ones less likely to be gamed:
WSJ: China reported its first decline in monthly electricity output in four years, one of the strongest signs so far that the country’s economic slowdown may be worse than thought.
The 4% decline in power generation in October from a year earlier, announced Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics, deepens what has become the most severe falloff in electricity output in a decade. Analysts expect further falls in months ahead as manufacturers cut back on power use in the wake of slowing orders from the U.S., Europe and other major export markets.
Barring some breakthrough in efficiency, we really have a hard time envisioning how a fall in electricity output could occur if the economy were growing. It makes no sense. Any ideas?
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