China has over-reported its exports for the last five months, inflating the apparent demand for its products overseas, according to a new research report.
Official customs data showed a surge in exports, but imports reported by trading partners don’t match up. Capital Economics, a research firm, estimated the actual exports expanded only half the 17 percent year-over-year rate reported by customs for the first four months of 2013.
China’s statistics bureau, which usually skirts the limelight, produced what Capital called a “little-watched estimate” of industrial sales for export.
The number reported in that estimate was far closer to trading partners’ import data than China's customs report.
It’s not the first time China’s trade reports have been called into question.
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