Thursday, February 26, 2009

Discrepancies in the figures...

...and no large bank failures in a place replete with politically-influenced (read: State-Directed) loan policies?

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- China investors should be “defensively positioned” as a decline in the nation’s tax receipts signals a steeper slowdown in spending than retail sales figures show, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“Tax data show much sharper deceleration in income and consumption in the past few months than suggested by official retail sales or income growth figures,” Goldman Sachs analysts Joshua Lu, Caroline Li and Fiona Lau wrote in a note today.

Value-added tax has “de-linked sharply” from retail sales figures, the analysts wrote. VAT rose 1 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, while retail sales gained 21 percent, according to the note.

China is trying to boost domestic spending to shore up its economy as recessions in the U.S. and Europe smother demand for its exports. The nation’s growth has slowed for six straight quarters, while outbound shipments slumped 17.5 percent in January, the most in almost 13 years, customs bureau data showed this month.

Growth in China’s individual income-tax receipts “slowed down significantly” in the second half and shrank in December and January, the Goldman Sachs analysts wrote. This compares with nominal wage growth of 21 percent in the third quarter, the report said.

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