MARKETS SPECTATOR: Chinese data riddle

Recent Chinese data is likely to sharpen the reliability debate, as concerns grow the official figures belie business credit and activity problems.

On the face of it, weekend news that China’s official manufacturing purchasers index rose in May to 50.8 from 50.6 in April should be good news for Australian stock investors. But for some observers of the Chinese economy, the perennial question of the reliability of Chinese data is rearing its head again.

The fact the data was above most forecasts may be neither here or there. But the data comes after figures from HSBC shows manufacturing in Australia’s biggest trading partner (it takes about a fifth of Australian exports) contracted this year.

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