China Suspends Release of Industry-Specific PMI Data

The release of industry-specific data from a monthly survey of manufacturing purchasing managers in China has been suspended due to time limitations, a move that coud make research work difficult for analysts, reports the South China Morning Post.

 

"We now have 3,000 samples in the survey, and from a technical point of view, time is very limited - there are many industries, you know," says Cai Jin, vice-president of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, which compiles the data with the National Bureau of Statistics. Cai said the suspension was not permanent.

 

The move follows the uncovering of fake invoices that inflated trade numbers this year, says the Post. 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.

 

"Suspension of the monthly data, without prior notice, makes the research work difficult for us," Xu Xiangchun, a steel researcher and chief analyst at Mysteel.com, told the Post.

 

The industry-specific PMI readings have only been available via paid subscription, while the broader data is issued via press releases.

 

Lack of detailed information regarding industrial activities could make it more difficult to assess the magnitude of China's economic slowdown because of a cash squeeze in the interbank market that sent borrowing costs soaring last month. The export and import sub-indexes are very important for economists to read the trade and economic situation.

 

Both the official PMI and a gauge released by HSBC Holdings Plc declined in June, indicating weakness in manufacturing as officials grapple with a cash squeeze in the banking system.

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