China No Longer Making Up Numbers, Now Simply Deleting Them

Tyler Durden's picture

For many years, the Chinese politburo (not to be confused with the US Department of Labor) had a simple solution to accusations that central planning doesn't work: just make up the economic numbers. However, a few months ago China found itself in hot water when it became impossible to pretend its manipulated numbers were even remotely credible, driven by a massive discrepancy between China exports to Hong Kong and HK imports from China.

The immediate result by China, and the PBOC, as it attempted to regain some credibility was an drastic and epic move to force capital reallocation, in the process nearly wiping out its banking sector when interbank lending rates exploded to over 25%. For now, China appears to have regained some control even if the ensuing CNY1 trillion deleveraging that is imminent is sure to lead to unprecedented pain for the country that is more addicted to credit creation than any other.

But in the meantime, China has once again fallen bank to doing what it does best: manipulating economic data, in this case the recently announced PMI. Only this time there is a twist: instead of goalseeking reported data to comply with some artificial reality that Beijing approves of, now China is simply flat out refusing to report numbers, period!

Bloomberg reports:

An official report on China’s manufacturing in June omitted numbers for export orders, imports and inventories of finished goods, without any explanation for the gaps.


Five of 12 sub-indexes usually released with the Purchasing Managers’ Index were absent from today’s releases from the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing. The others were for backlogs of work and quantities of purchases. The statistics bureau didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed questions asking for comment.


Analysts seeking a fuller picture of China’s economy could turn to an English-language version of the report released in Hong Kong by the Fung Business Intelligence Center, which included the missing numbers. Inflated trade figures this year highlighted flaws and omissions in data that investors rely on for assessing the strength of the world’s second-biggest economy.


“We hope it’s just a hiccup, and we certainly want the data released to be consistent and comprehensive,” said Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong. He said the sub-indexes of export orders, imports and stocks of finished goods are “important” in reading the Chinese economy.


The sub-indexes for exports, imports and inventories became available after the initial release in a separate data feed from the China Economic Information Service, said Ding Shuang, senior China economist at Citigroup Inc. in Hong Kong.


“The export and import sub-indexes are very important for economists to read the trade and economic situation,” Ding said. “They need to be a bit more consistent in releasing the data.”

What was not discussed is that in a centrally-planned and controlled world, nobody needs the anachronism of "data" - after all even the Fed has given up any pretense that fundamentals matter. So for everyone else, there is the Arthur Anderson defense: just shred numbers, and pray that the system is so corrupt that if they go after one, they have no choice but to go after all. At least until Skilling gets his sentence cut by more than half.

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doomandbloom's picture

Dont worry.....NSA has got them...

GetZeeGold's picture



That NSA guy monitoring the ghost cities has got to be one lonely son of a bitch.

aint no fortunate son's picture

what's the difference between that and every jumbo insolvent CRIMINAL bank over here fudging every loan loss reserve in the past 5 years?

knukles's picture

Another "todja" moment.
Been saying for decades that none of he macro data was trustworthy... just think of the number of people, infrastructure... with most of em living in what would be considered shitholes in the west, cash society....
No way they gots good data to even manipulate, FFS


Rubicon's picture
UBS Rates Commodities ‘Underweight’ as Equities Seen Advancing


The commodity supercycle has ended and investors should reduce their holdings in raw materials, especially gold, and buy equities, UBS AG said.

Slow economic growth in the U.S. will boost equities more than commodities and reduced quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve will be negative for gold, Stephane Deo, a strategist at UBS in London, said in a report dated today. Industrial metals are rated “underweight” on increased supply and slower growth in top consumer China.

Gold as much as doubled from 2008 to a record $1,921.15 an ounce in September 2011 as the U.S. central bank led nations in cutting interest rates and buying debt. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last month the Fed may reduce its $85 billion of monthly purchases this year and end the program in 2014.

“Gold will continue to suffer,” Deo said in the report. “After a stellar performance during the past decade, industrial metals have underperformed the stock market since the beginning of the current decade.”

Gold plunged into a bear market in April and is down 25 percent since the start of the year as some investors lost faith in bullion as a store of value. The metal for immediate delivery traded at $1,259.70 an ounce at 12:31 p.m in London.

Allocation Mix

The UBS asset allocation was increased in equities and corporate bonds, and lowered in real estate, cash, commodities and government bonds. U.S. economic growth is seen accelerating the most in the euro zone next year, followed by Russia and the U.S., according to the report. Equities will benefit to the extent that Fed monetary tightening will be due to a “resilient recovery,” UBS said.

While UBS cut its forecasts for gold prices through 2015 on June 20 on expectations of Fed tapering, the bank says client interest in gold persists and it started storing gold for wealth-management clients at a facility in Singapore. UBS forecasts gold will be at $1,325 an ounce in 2014.

UBS joined banks from Citigroup Inc. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that have called an end to the commodities supercycle, or longer-than-average period of rising prices. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials fell 4.5 percent this year after almost quadrupling since 2001.

“Commodities are likely to generate positive returns if the cycle improves, but at a much lower rate than before,” Deo said.

insanelysane's picture

Fortunately for all of us the NSA spying thing was all a misunderstanding on our part.  Our leaders in the govmint were just trying to understand us better.  For the potus himself on why we spy on everyone.


"They're going to be trying to understand the world better and what's going on in world capitals around the world, from sources that aren't available through the New York Times or NBC News," Mr. Obama said during a press conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he stopped on the last leg of his seven-day trip to Africa.

knukles's picture

Please...was that humor or did he really say it?

OMG, we've been saying for so long just how fucked we are, but I just had this sudden vision....

lakecity55's picture

GEN Alexander: "Wake up, Private! Asleep on watch! What the hell..."

MAJ Smithers: "PVT Jones monitors the Ghost Cities, Sir."

Alexander: "Oh, sorry, son, carry on. Smithers, let's check out the Zero Hedge section. I bet there is some action there."

knukles's picture

Smithers:  General, sir, wouldja like some funny shit?
Alex:  Well...  sure.
Smithers:  Private!  Start a rumor on the Hedge and we'll provide a link to a false news page about Bammie, abiotuc oil, HAARP and Reggie Love, and include a reference to his checking account at the Fed arranged by Soros and Goldman.
Private:  (As proud as he's ever been)  YES SIR!

Midasking's picture

It is comforting to know the US isn't the only country that makes up it's economic numbers...

ziggy59's picture

Ben, you reading this?

ekm's picture

And this is no different from what people call Federal Reserve Data.


People scour Fed data to find about M1, M2 ....M2000000000000. etc etc etc


Please, please, please. Stop referring to Fed data about money supply.

It's all propaganda.

NidStyles's picture

The second the Fed stopped reporting on the M3 anything the Fed said could not be trusted anymore. Without M3 data nothing can be accurately displayed. The only way M3 would not matter is if there was no debt in the society and everyone actually saved to buy things.


We all know that is not happening.

alangreedspank's picture

The thing about Fed data is that it can be used to prove the mainstream wrong. If even the Fed data proves MSNBC wrong for example, everyone can then understand how much they spin things.

Rainman's picture

I'll call China's fake export/import numbers and raise them one CBO budget projection.

NidStyles's picture

What you don't report is just as telling as what you do report on. Inventories tell everything, and watching trade routes with other countries will let you know what is actually going on. Despite China's size they still have to import a lot of materials and goods to feed and keep those billions of serfs from chopping off the government's head.

spankfish's picture

Sooooo, that 8% growth number they constantly pimp to stay up with birth rates is a lie?  Who da' thunk'.

Non Passaran's picture

An 8% pop growth in China?
You're worse data counterfeiter than the China stats office.
Well done, now take a long break.

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

China's population grows nett by 7 million per year, how do you keep up with that?

put_peter's picture

No problem i can post some China numbers. Only $99.95/month.

GetZeeGold's picture



Throw in a $5.00 Starbucks gift card.....and I'm in.

disabledvet's picture

hahahahaha. really? you mean Governments have fallen back on what they do best...namely bailouts of banks. (except Europe which is trying...but failing.) what's left of the Feral Pigs of Planet Earth are desperately trying to push interest rates higher in the USA ..."the last place where it matters (no currency risk) and it's still possible." I think that window is going to close here shortly. I would argue...again as a TRADE...that you play this move from the long end. in other words higher prices LOWER yields.

Manipuflation's picture

Bullish!  Quick everybody, go pile into Zynga!  FFS.

YHC-FTSE's picture

"Just shred the numbers"

Given the choice between incessant bullshit and nothing, I prefer nothing.

I'd pay more taxes to see Libor at 25% to wipe out the whole nest of leveraged criminal banks over here. Bad news for borrowers,  but you know the saying, never be a borrower or lender be. One thing is for sure, we will see a Chinese Bear Stearns fairly soon.

PT's picture

No false numbers to confuse anyone ...
No time lost trying to analyze the unanalyzable ...
Sounds like increased productivity to me ...
But wot will the TV people talk about now?

Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

China is not "deleting"their economic numbers. They are simply looking for a more competent "number maker-upper". Apply at the PBOC.

NidStyles's picture

Perhaps they should outsource. I see that the BLS is pretty good at making a mess of clear cut information and generally just confusing the shit out of everyone, and I know the federal government is strapped for cash because they keep raising my taxes.

toadold's picture

It's a pity that the truth is the one commodity only the very rich can afford, and if you are very rich you really don't need it??

orangegeek's picture

Well shucks, this has to be bullish data that has been hiden.


Communists always run a legit operation.

reTARD's picture

While Ben presses Ctrl+P, China is just moar efficient. China only presses one key.