Wednesday, December 10, 2008

China Growth Machine Hitting the Wall

China's exports and imports both shrank unexpectedly in November.  And by "unexpectedly," I mean "Holy cow! Fire the economists!."  Exports fell 2.2% from a year earlier, compared to expectations of a rise of 15%, while imports dropped by 17.9% compared to expectations of a rise of 12%.  China was widely anticipated to buck the global credit and now economic crises, by continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace.  But it looks like that isn't going to happen, despite the Chinese government's plan to spend 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) to boost infrastructure spending and its move to slash interest rates to stimulate the economy.  A slight weakening in the yuan allowed by the government last week raised eyebrows and caused many to speculate that the government would move to depreciate the currency further to help boost exports.  Make no mistake, if China's economy starts contracting significantly, the rest of the world is in big trouble.  We were depending on China to grow us out of this mess. If they aren't going to do it, who will? 

No comments: