Home > Articles > Business & Management > Global Business

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

A Year in China's Economic Data

Chinese holidays (some of them fixed, some of them floating), political set pieces, and changes in the season affect what is happening to the data. Keeping an eye on the calendar makes understanding what is going on easier.

January and February: New Year's Holiday Plays Havoc with Data

Chinese New Year is the main event in the annual calendar, the equivalent of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day in the United States rolled into one, but stretched over an entire week. Airports and railway stations are packed with workers returning home for the most important holiday of the year. Work on construction sites grinds to a halt, factories cease production, and the financial markets are closed. With the New Year falling in January some years and February in others, the calendar plays havoc with the economic data. The NBS attempts to overcome the problem by publishing some of the main data points for January and February together. Data that is published for separate months, including data on trade from the Customs Bureau, needs to be treated with caution because of the seasonal distortion.

The holiday also impacts the financial markets. With households hungry for cash to pay for train tickets and to stuff into red envelopes as gifts for family members, and firms demanding extra funds to pay a New Year's bonus, the banks run short. Short-term interest rates kick up, and the PBOC injects liquidity to make up the shortfall. Throw the chance of very bad weather impacting economic activity into the mix, and data for the first two months of the year needs to be treated with caution.

March and April: Twin Work Meetings Set the Direction of Economic Policy

With the New Year's festivities over, March's main event is the government's twin work meetings. In theory, the National People's Congress (NPC) is China's highest authority. In practice, key decisions are shaped by a smaller group at the October meeting of the Communist Party's Central Committee. That does not mean the NPC is without interest. The premier's work report sets out the government's overall economic policy stance and the priorities for the year, including a target for GDP, CPI, and money supply. The National Development and Reform Commissions (NDRC) expand on that with targets for trade, fixed asset investment, and retail sales. The budget sets priorities for government spending and the target for the fiscal surplus or deficit. The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is second fiddle to the NPC, but it takes place in parallel and provides the financial press with a rare opportunity to doorstop decision makers and ask them difficult questions.

In April, following the confusion caused by Chinese New Year, GDP data for the first quarter brings some welcome clarity on the state of the economy. Publication of the GDP data is typically preceded by a meeting of the State Council, chaired by the premier and with all the main economic policy actors in the room. The State Council reviews the economic data ahead of its publication, agrees on the direction of economic policy for the quarter ahead, and sometimes makes decisions on the use of key policy instruments such as the interest rate. In April 2010, the State Council meeting resulted in the announcement of a crackdown on bubble prices in the real estate sector.

May and June: No Rest for the Workers

Until 2007, workers enjoyed a week-long holiday in May. From 2008, that was reduced to a single day, on May 1. The change from a week-long to a single-day holiday affects the seasonal pattern in the historical data, and the 1-day holiday continues to reduce working days in May relative to April and June, which can have an impact on the month-on-month data.

July and August: Political Slumber and Natural Disaster

Beijing summers are hot. The temperature pushes up into the high 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin era, China's leaders sloped off to Beidaihe, a nearby coastal resort, for a few weeks of swimming and political intrigue. Hu Jintao decided that an annual holiday for the entire leadership did not fit with the image of simple living he wanted to project, so the Beidaihe retreats fell out of favor. But being in Beijing does not appear any more conducive to making difficult decisions. The publication of GDP data for the second quarter in early July is preceded by the normal meeting of the State Council. But in general, the summer months are not heavily populated with major political or economic events.

Natural disasters are not confined to the summer months. Snowstorms in the winter and earthquakes anytime they please have claimed lives and treasure in recent years. But the summer months are particularly prone to natural calamities. Floods can damage infrastructure and put a dent in output for the industrial and agricultural sectors. July 1 also marks the date of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, a sensitive anniversary.

September and October: National Day Holiday, Central Committee Meeting

The moon festival in September or october and National Day at the beginning of October introduce further confusion into the economic data. The fall holidays are not as important as the New Year's festivities. There's no exodus of migrant workers from the factory back to the farm, construction continues, and shops stay open. But the two holidays put a significant dent in working days, especially for white-collar workers, and affect the economic data for September and October. The National Day Holiday on October 1 is also the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

In mid-October, a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party brings together China's most senior decision makers. The meeting has assumed a new importance under the leadership of Hu Jintao as a forum in which important economic decisions are made. The October 2010 meeting came ahead of a decision to raise interest rates and anticipated a shift in economic policy out of crisis response and into neutral mode. The Central Committee meeting also sets the tone for the meeting of the NPC in March the next year.

November and December: Central Economic Work Meeting

In the first half of December, the main event is the Central Economic Work Meeting. With the president and premier in attendance, the meeting brings together senior leaders from central departments and provincial governments for 3 days of discussions. The meeting sets the tone for economic policy in the year ahead, identifying the overarching stance for monetary and fiscal policy, and setting out priorities for structural reform.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020