Until now, Beijing’s monthly import and export numbers have been considered absolutely reliable, yet there is growing evidence to suggest that in recent months they have been distorted by fabricated transactions.
Especially suspect are the export figures for this September and October. China’s exports for September soared 9.9% year-on-year. In the following month, they jumped 11.6%. For many observers, the September number signalled the beginning of the long-awaited recovery of the Chinese economy.
The September-October period is now beginning to look like an anomaly from the baseline, represented by the more-typical August and November figures. In fact, the numbers for August and November look remarkably similar. In August, exports increased 2.7%. In November, they were up 2.9%. Imports, always a key sign of growth, fell 2.6% in August. In November, they were unchanged.
Are we to believe China had an export boom lasting just two months? Anything is…
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