China’s monthly manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) is one of the most closely followed economic data reports in the world.
Earlier this year it was reported that China would be suspending the release of industry-specific data from its manufacturing PMI.
Now, Bloomberg is reporting that this happened because of accuracy concerns.
“We can’t ensure all industry-specific data can reach accuracy requirements,” Sheng Laiyun, a statistics agency official said at a conference cited by Bloomberg. “Samples in some industries are very small, and accidental changes may affect overall data quality — we were concerned that some of the numbers may affect related investors and users.”
Both the official and HSBC PMI data have been touted as one of the most reliable economic indicators out of China because they generally match other indicators of activity like industrial production and GDP.
Xu Gao, chief economist with China Everbright Securities told Bloomberg he doesn’t believe the explanation offered by the official. “Without these specific data, the credibility of China’s headline official PMI indicator is undermined,” he said.