It’s here. China’s GDP report, known just as much for being influential as it is for scepticism towards its accuracy, is about to be released.
After a shaky start to the year, the world’s second largest economy is expected to report another bumper growth figure for the December quarter, an outcome that will no doubt embolden both the China bulls and bears alike should it arrive, albeit for different reasons.
Here’s the state of play:
- In the September quarter, GDP grew by 6.7% year-on-year, in line with expectations and the third quarter in succession where the annual growth rate was unchanged.
- In seasonally adjusted terms, GDP grew by 1.8% over the quarter, again in line with expectations.
- Growth in the nation’s tertiary industries – predominantly services – increased by 7.6% year-on-year, outpacing growth in the secondary and primary industries of 6.1% and 3.5% respectively.
- Tertiary industries accounted for 52.8% the GDP in the first nine months of the year, 13.3 percentage points higher than the contribution of the nation’s secondary industries. Roughly speaking, the former could be deemed to be the “new” China economy, with the latter the “old” economy.
- Today, yet again, GDP is expected to grow 6.7% year-on-year. If correct, it will be the first time on record that GDP growth was unchanged for four consecutive quarters.
- Of the 62 economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, forecasts range between growth of 6.2% to 7.1%.
- However, if history is any guide, the GDP figure will almost certainly come in at or slightly above expectation. Indeed, the past eight GDP figures have either met or beaten the median economist forecast by 0.1%. Make of that what you will.
- For the quarter, GDP is tipped to grow 1.7% in seasonally adjusted terms, down from 1.8% in Q3.
- Alongside the GDP report, industrial output, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment figures for December will also be released.
- Industrial output is expected to grow 6.1% year-on-year, down from 6.2% in November, while retail sales are tipped to expand by 10.7% from a year earlier, down 0.1 percentage point from a month earlier.
- Urban fixed asset investment is tipped to grow 8.3% from a year earlier, unchanged from the year-on-year pace reported between January to November.
In the absence of any data leaks — which there have been in the past — all four reports are scheduled to arrive at 1pm AEDT.
Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as hits the screens.
You can follow me on Twitter @david_scutt — I’ll be covering the release live.