The world's most populous country is running out of workers – what are the implications?

China is running out of workers. Around 60 per cent of China’s workforce, or 469 million people, are known as rural. But it seems that a big chunk of these people – around 145 million – spent at least six months away from home last year, presumably working in towns...Read More

China's bubble inflates that little bit more

Two bits of news have come out of China over the last few days. Inflation is up, leaving many to forecast hikes in interest rates, which in turn, or so they argue, will lead to the crash in asset prices so many have been predicting. If the Chinese economy is...Read More

Posted Dec 13, 2010

US and China circle each other like sharks preparing to strike

The burgeoning row between China and the US is like a Great White shark circling off the coast, and the authorities are just about as inept as the mayor of Amity Island who tried to reassure everyone that the waters were safe.

Steven Spielberg may have shown remarkable prescience with his...Read More

Posted Dec 07, 2010

UK sees exports to China lag behind David Cameron's Chinese pontificating

The latest trade figures for the UK and China were out this morning. Maybe we should be grateful for small mercies, for while the two sets of figures point to quite horrendous imbalances, at least they are both changing in the right direction.

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and...Read More

Posted Nov 10, 2010

West needs to save more: emerging world needs to spend more, says OECD

Must try harder. Did you ever get that comment in a report when you were at school? The author didn’t. His reports typically said: what a delightful pupil. But yesterday, praise was in short supply, red ink was everywhere, and there were lots of “see me” comments.

The OECD was...Read More

Posted Nov 04, 2010

China and India see new surge, as consumers take up the baton

The latest purchasing managers indices (PMIs) relating to China, India and other economies in the Far East were released this morning. The reports were good and bad. But, for our money, some really good news lurks within the depths of the latest survey from China.

Bear in mind that for...Read More

Posted Nov 01, 2010

Wen Jiabao, oranges, lemons and political mandarins

Right now there is some interesting stuff going on in China. Premier Wen Jiabao has called for greater political reform. Meanwhile, the People’s Daily, the most influential newspaper in China, has slammed the idea of Western-style multi-party democracy ever taking root in the world’s most populous country. In other words,...Read More

Posted Oct 29, 2010

China graduates from copycat to innovator, as she builds fastest computer in world

The Great Bubble of China theory says that China’s growth is reliant on importing ideas from abroad. The same theory goes that China’s growth is not sustainable and she is months away from descending into a Japanese-style economic myopia. At the other extreme you get paranoia, that China is set...Read More

Posted Oct 29, 2010

Chinese GDP slows, inflation limps, and yet interest rates have gone up: why?

Now this is a tad strange. Data came in from China this morning on its latest growth and inflation. Given that the country’s central bank upped rates early in the week, you would have expected some impressive figures, suggesting a danger that the economy is overheating. In reality, the complete...Read More

Posted Oct 21, 2010

China ups rates and maybe savings will fall as a result

Sometimes the rate of interest can work back to front. Take the move seen yesterday in China to up rates on both deposits and lending. It seems to be the most likely impact of this change will be the complete opposite of what one would expect to happen in the...Read More

Posted Oct 20, 2010

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