China skips scheduled release of Sept trade data in rare lapse

BEIJING : China had yet to release previously scheduled trade data for September by the close of the business day on Friday, in a rare and unexplained lapse.

The data had been expected to show China’s export growth softened further from August, weighed down by weakening global demand, while its imports remained tepid.

The General Administration of Customs was scheduled to release September’s export and import statistics on Friday along with data for the entire third quarter, according to its 2022 data release timetable on its website.

The administration also did not hold a news briefing on Friday, which it normally does when data for a quarter is released.

A staff member on the administration’s service hot-line told Reuters that she had no information on the timing of the data release and could not give more information.

The administration also did not provide any update of the timing release on its website.

Earlier this year, exports had been one of the few bright spots for the world’s second-biggest economy, but they are widely expected to slow in the second half.

China’s outbound shipments likely rose 4.1 per cent in September from a year earlier after growing 7.1 per cent in August, according to a Reuters poll.

Imports were expected to have stayed soft, up 1.0 per cent compared with 0.3 per cent growth in August.

The unusual lapse came two days before the start of a key congress of the ruling Communist Party on Sunday, where President Xi Jinping is expected to win a third term that solidifies his place as China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong.

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