Now We Know Why China Authorities Panicked; an Actual Negative Number in the One Place They Can’t Afford One

by Jeffrey P. Snider
Alhambra Partners

In August 2014, Chinese industrial production was estimated to have slowed sharply from +9.0% that July to just 6.9%. Consensus at the time expected only a minor variation, an insignificant change to +8.8%. Chinese industrial statistics had suggested some minor (relatively speaking) weakness at the start of the year before rebounding throughout the spring in what is now, in the third consecutive year of it, a familiar pattern. The drop into the heat of August was a complete surprise for the more confident extrapolations that 2014 China would be right back on track, or at least moving appreciably close to it. As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time:

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