Today’s example of the inscrutable mystery of China’s economic statistics
When the subject turns to China, everybody gets not only their own opinions, but their own facts. Is China booming or crashing? Since the government data is not trusted, people look to private sources — which often adds to the confusion.
BusinessWeek, 11 May:
“China’s property prices rose by a record 12.8% in April from a year earlier, defying government measures to stem gains and cool speculation. The increase, which was posted on the National Bureau of Statistics website, topped an 11.7% jump in March that was the highest since the survey of residential and commercial prices in 70 cities started in 2005″
CapitalVue, 11 May (note the % change is given to four significant digits, which is a bit much):
The average transaction price of commercial residential properties in Beijing for the week ended May 9 fell 1,790 yuan per square meter or 9.6% week-on-week to 16,898 yuan per square meter, reports The Beijing News, citing statistics released by Beijing Real Estate Information Network.
Compared with the week ended April 11, the average transaction price of commercial residential properties in Beijing plunged 31.43% to 7,744 yuan per square meter.
In the last weeks of April, the transaction volume of commercial residential properties in Beijing decreased by 10.34% , 11.39% and 30.82% respectively. Average transaction price was flat at between 22,000 yuan to 23,000 yuan per square meter.
The Beijing Real Estate Information Network source gives 4 week change for Beijing of -34% (April 11 to May 9). China’s government says national prices rose year-over-year from 11.7% in March to 12.8% in April. No way these can both be true.
I suspect the first is correct. Loud alarms would ring if prices in a large city — or the capital – fell by 1/3 in just one month. We wouldn’t need this private firm to tell us. Imagine the reaction if this happened in NYC or Washington DC. But that’s just my guess.