For a while, I've been trying to make sense of the recent disconnect between energy use and GDP growth in China.
According to latest data, March energy use was down 2 % yoy, after a 5.2 % decline in Jan/Feb. In total, that's -4 % for Q1.
At the same time, industrial output was supposed to be up 3.8 % yoy in Jan/Feb, and 8.3 % in March. And according to sources, total Q1 GDP grew 6.1 % yoy.
Apart from the statistical miracle of compiling GDP figures two weeks after the quarter is over, this just doesn't seem right: How do you get 6 % GDP growth using 4 % less electricity? And how do you increase industrial production 8.3 %, with electricity use down 2 %?
I know, in theory it's perfectly possible, if energy-intensive industries are hit hard. But we are told that just about every sector of the Chinese economy has grown, some more, some less. So my guess is: The economy is not in fact growing at 6 %, no matter what the official numbers say.
Oh, here's a graph showing electricity use: Quite a drop since Q3, eh? -17 % from Q3 to Q1, to be exact. Weren't they supposed to use less electricity during the Q3 Olympics?