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Confusing Economic Data from China; What’s Really Happening?

Economics / China Economy Jan 21, 2013 - 11:08 AM GMT

By: InvestmentContrarian

Economics

Sasha Cekerevac writes: Recently, we have heard and seen some data stating that the Chinese economy is beginning to rebound. Many analysts have started to raise their economic forecast for the Chinese economy in 2013.

One of the difficult aspects when calculating an economic forecast for the Chinese economy is that much of the official data from China are questionable.


While recent data have shown that the Chinese economy has begun re-accelerating during the fourth quarter 2012, new information raises some questions.

The China Beige Book (CBB) International states that, in its analysis of the fourth quarter, it sees a significant decline in corporate loans. As the CBB states, its editors were “shocked” that new loans accounted for less than 20% of the total lending. (Source: Harjani, A., “The China Beige Book Has Some ‘Shocking’ Data,” CNBC, January 16, 2013.)

The CBB interviews over 2,000 business executives across the country to come up with its survey results. Another worrying sign in the report for the Chinese economy that will certainly cloud any economic forecast is that the percentage of surveyed companies borrowing money continues to decline, even though interest rates have been cut by the People’s Bank of China.

While the Chinese economy is trying to become more consumer-oriented and domestic, exports still play a very large role. With the buildup in their inventory, manufacturing firms appear to be anticipating growth worldwide for 2013.

If this doesn’t occur, the Chinese economy could be vulnerable to a significant pullback. The difficulty in all of this analysis when trying to calculate an economic forecast is that so many variables and so much questionable data make it extremely complicated to come up with a definitive number.

The Chinese economy depends a lot on exporting to Europe. Any economic forecast for the Chinese economy certainly needs to take into account the economic weakness on the European continent. I don’t see this improving substantially in 2013.

The U.S. economy has shown some improvement, but is it enough to overcome European weakness? That’s hard to say.

The real concern in my economic forecast for the Chinese economy is what might happen to this inventory buildup if there isn’t enough demand; we would be looking at a substantial drag on the Chinese economy for at least part, if not all, of 2013.

While it is good to see some optimistic signs, this latest data on the Chinese economy showing a lack of loan demand growth certainly raises questions about the underlying strength of the economy.

I would want to see several more quarters of sustainable growth before I can substantially increase my economic forecast for the Chinese economy.

Source: http://www.investmentcontrarians.com/recession/confusing-data-from-china-whats-really-happening/1270/

By Sasha Cekerevac, BA
www.investmentcontrarians.com

Investment Contrarians is our daily financial e-letter dedicated to helping investors make money by going against the “herd mentality.”

About Author: Sasha Cekerevac, BA Economics with Finance specialization, is a Senior Editor at Lombardi Financial. He worked for CIBC World Markets for several years before moving to a top hedge fund, with assets under management of over $1.0 billion. He has comprehensive knowledge of institutional money flow; how the big funds analyze and execute their trades in the market. With a thorough understanding of both fundamental and technical subjects, Sasha offers a roadmap into how the markets really function and what to look for as an investor. His newsletters provide an experienced perspective on what the big funds are planning and how you can profit from it. He is the editor of several of Lombardi’s popular financial newsletters, including Payload Stocks and Pump & Dump Alert. See Sasha Cekerevac Article Archives

Copyright © 2013 Investment Contrarians - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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