Taps Coogan – April 29th, 2022
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Leland Miller, the man who runs the largest private in-country data-collection network in China – China Beige Book International, recently spoke to CNBC to warn that Chinese Q2 economic data is going to look “grizzly” amid speculation of a lockdown in Beijing and that GDP growth could be negative – regardless of whether the government acknowledges it.
Some excerpts from Leland Miller:
“It’s not like people in Beijing haven’t been on WeChat and on the internet watching what’s happening in Shanghai. So, they’re stocking up… The idea that things are going to be handled better in Beijing, let’s hope. But, Shanghai had two years to prepare for this and they were caught unaware and it’s been a mild disaster… (In) Beijing, I think people are anticipating the worst… the capital could be shut down indefinitely if there is any kind of even tiny outbreak.”
“The number for first quarter GDP beat expectations and I think people got complacent based on that, but the Q1 number didn’t include really any of the lockdown… April is a disaster. Half the country is shut down. Things are looking bad. If they can get the lockdowns over by early May then we won’t be talking about this. But if were still talking about this two, three, four weeks from now… you’re looking at zero percent or contracting growth for the second quarter. Will they announce that? We don’t know, but we are looking at pretty grizzly data for the second quarter.”
For anyone keeping track, China has only reported one negative quarter of growth since it started releasing figures in 1992. That quarter was the first quarter of 2020.
Of course, China’s GDP numbers are propaganda so all that matters is what private data collectors like Mr. Miller have to say.
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