February 7, 2020 / 8:14 AM / 19 days ago

China says will not release trade data for January, will combine with February

FILE PHOTO: A truck transports a container at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s customs office said on Friday that it would not issue preliminary trade data for January but would combine January and February data, in line with how some of the country’s other major economic indicators are released early in the year.

The customs office issued the statement in the afternoon in response to a query about the January data, which had been expected to be released around 11 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Friday.

Chinese data early in the year is often heavily distorted by the timing of the Long Lunar New Year holidays, which fall in either January or February. But a virus epidemic this year has also resulted in widespread business disruptions that are spilling over into global trade.

Reporting by Se Young Lee, Lusha Zhang and Min Zhang; Editing by Kim Coghill

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