There are only two things to say about today’s figures from the National Bureau of Statistics that show that the Chinese economy expanded by 8.9 per cent between July and September.
The first is how convenient the number is. The acceleration of GDP growth has brought average growth in the first nine months of the year to 7.7 per cent. Since the official Communist party target for the year is 8pc, we are very neatly on track.
Of course I always said that even if economic growth was not going to hit 8 per cent this year, the party would make sure the figures said it did. After all, the Chinese government’s mandate and authority is founded on continuing economic success.
The second thing to say is that both the Shanghai Composite Index and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closed the day down. Shanghai did not fall much, by 0.62 per cent to 3051.41 points, while Hong Kong recovered late in the day to record a mere 0.42 per cent drop to 22210.52 points.
That’s more like treading water than falling, but it is also hardly an expression of confidence in China’s economic success over the next 18 months, especially after such stirring figures.