Key economic data this week may suggest China’s recovery is doing a lot better than it is in reality.
Official figures on Tuesday are expected to show rapid year-on-year growth in industrial output and retail sales for April, with both of those key datasets likely accelerating from March. Fixed-asset investment through the first four months of 2023 is also projected to have gathered pace.
The figures come with a major caveat: they all compare to an extraordinary time period in China last year, when the manufacturing and finance hub Shanghai was locked because of spreading Covid cases, and restrictions on movement slowed or halted activity elsewhere.
That means that while economists usually pay close attention to year-over-year data in China, this time they may view month-on-month comparisons as a better indicator.