China has delayed the release of its latest economic growth figures, which were due to be published as the Communist Party’s leadership gathers.

President Xi Jinping is expected to be confirmed for a historic third-term at this week’s party congress in Beijing.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) did not give a reason for the delay.

The decision has been described as “very rare” by experts and is seen by some as a sign of further weakness in the world’s second largest economy.

However, Zhao Chenxin, deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said on Monday that the country’s economy had “picked up significantly in the third quarter”.

“Globally China’s economic performance also remains outstanding. Consumer prices have risen modestly, in sharp contrast to the high global inflation, and employment remained generally stable,” he told a news conference.

According to an updated NBS calendar, publication of several key economic indictors on Tuesday, including third quarter gross domestic product (GDP), had been “postponed”.

A new date for the release of the figures has yet to be scheduled.

NBS did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.