Seven Impossible Things About Chinese Economic Data Before Breakfast

I’m a part-time collector of contradictory China economy statistics. For example, there is the data showing a recent decline in gasoil consumption in the face of a recovery, or the similar decline in electricity consumption, etc. All good fun.

Here is my latest find:

A Chinese government estimate that inflation may be 2 percent for 2009 is puzzling economists after prices fell for six of the past seven months.

The Ministry of Commerce made the estimate in a statement on its Web site yesterday, citing rising demand and gains in commodity prices.

“It’s just impossible,” Wang Qian, a Hong Kong-based economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said today. Inflation would have to jump to more than 6 percent for the rest of the year to bring the average to that level, said Wang, who forecasts a 0.5 percent decline in prices for 2009.

More here.