Bubbling, cooling, there’s a bit of sweet and sour in the flood of economic data on China’s economy in the past few days, with offshore and local commentators unable to agree on just what the figures are telling them.

China’s monthly flow of economic data finished yesterday and while the economy is still in reasonable shape, the Government isn’t taking any chances as it continues to stress there will be no change in monetary policy in the current half of the year (i.e. no rate rise or tightening of loans or asset ratios by the banks).

China’s industrial output growth rose, prices fell, retail sales went sideways and imports and exports were again down in July. Steel output rose, iron ore exports hit a record (take that Rio Tinto and Australia) and property prices rose and car sales jumped sharply.

  • $US585 billion: the stimulus spending from all levels of Government, something that is having a definite impact. This has led to a 10.8% rise in industrial production in July compared with the same month of 2008, up marginally from the 10.7% annual rate in June. It was 7% earlier in the year.
  • 23%: the fall in China’s exports in July, with imports down 14.9%. both rose from June. The fall in imports reflects lower prices for others, such as iron ore, oil and coal.
  • 58,100,000: the tonnage of iron ore imported, a 5% rise for July. The July figure beat the previous 57 million tonnes record set in April.
  • 50,680,000: the tonnage of crude steel produced in July, a 13% rise for the month and up to 20% above 2008’s record 500 million tonnes.
  • 32.9%: the rise in urban fixed investment for the first seven months of 2009, down on June’s 33.6% rise, which impressed everyone.
  • 6: the number of consecutive months in which consumer prices have fallen, this month by 1.8%.
  • 8.2%: the fall in producer prices last month, against a 7.8% annual fall June on June, pointing to deflation for the domestic business sector and a sign the fall in commodity and food prices from a year remain substantial. But they were up 1% month on month.
  • 15.2%: the rise in retail sales in July, up from the 15% rise in June and less than that in April and May.
  • 4.8%: the rise in July’s power consumption from June’s rise of 3.7% (July was the second month in a row power consumption has risen, after it had fallen foe five months to May).
  • 60%: the sharp rise in property sales in the seven months to July. Better than the 53% rise in the six months to June.
  • 43: number of cities that recorded a rise in new home prices.
  • 26: number of cities that recorded a decline.
  • $1.08 trillion: the ammount lent by Chinese banks for the month, a 77% fall in bank lending in July.
  • $US27.74 billion: the fall in tax revenue year-on-year, down around 6% from the first half of 2008.