China’s third-quarter economic data, including gross domestic product figures, were due to be released Oct. 18. The day before the scheduled release, however, publication was delayed indefinitely. Indeed, over the past decade, as China’s GDP growth has slowed, it has become less transparent.

Since late 2021, China’s various economic issues, exacerbated by frequent and often abrupt pandemic lockdowns, have trapped Chinese GDP growth below the official target of 5.5 percent. For example, China grew by just 0.4 percent in the second quarter of 2022, despite strong growth in coastal provinces. Setting aside hopeful notes from President Xi Jinping and other top officials at this week’s National Congress, China’s Q3 data is still expected to paint a dire picture of the future.

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