The China Bear Sanity Check

When it comes to the direction of China’s economy, who can you trust?

Official economic numbers are famously rubbery. China’s exports to Hong Kong in December rose 30 percent from the previous month and overtook shipments to the U.S. and the European Union, according to customs data Wednesday which economists put down to fake invoicing by mainland businesses trying to evade currency restrictions. While party secretary of Liaoning province, current Premier Li Keqiang considered official GDP measures to be so unreliable that he instead measured growth by looking at electricity consumption, rail cargo, and bank lending, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by Wikileaks.