Beijing’s Burden: A Slowing China Bodes Ill For The World Economy
From The Financial Times:
As the credit crisis unfolded over the past year, one of the few certainties in the global economy seemed to be China’s ability to plough on regardless at double-digit growth rates.
Not any more. With Wall Street in tatters and Europe’s and Japan’s economies faltering, many investors are beginning to ask if China too might stumble badly. After five turbo-charged years of accelerating growth, the Chinese economy is clearly slowing.
For some, this is no more than a welcome easing from unsustainable rates of expansion. “China is going from supercharged growth to fast growth,” says Andy Rothman, a Shanghai-based economist at CLSA, the regional brokerage. Yet a flurry of recent data and anecdotal reports have raised fears that the economy might be slowing more rapidly – and last week’s surprise decision to cut interest rates for the first time in six years indicates that Beijing could share some of those anxieties.
The international crisis has also focused minds in China on the need to update a growth model that – despite huge improvements in productivity – is still too dependent on assembling goods for export without adding much value and on heavy industries that create pollution and suck in lots of capital.