China’s Politics in Rare Bloom

Today marks the opening of the National People’s Congress (NPC) which, along with the concurrent Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) — together known as “liang hui” or “two meetings” — constitutes China’s annual season of high political theater.  Since it’s the last such meeting before the big leadership change-over later this year, everyone will […]

CCTV News: Russian Elections

Russia holds its presidential election on March 4, in which — surprise, surprise — Vladimir Putin is expected to return to the top office after a one-term hiatus as prime minister.  On Thursday, I was on CCTV News Dialogue discussing the election and the key issues Putin will face in its aftermath, including stymied economic […]

China’s Slowdown

Yesterday I was on China Radio International (CRI) talking about the latest figures and trends for the Chinese economy:  the drop in real estate, record bank profits, weak trade and PMI data, and persistent inflation.  The overarching question was whether the perceived slowdown in China’s economy is real, and how worried we should be about […]

Xi Jinping in America

Chinese Vice President (and presidential heir-apparent) Xi Jinping is on a multi-day official visit to the United States this week, and not surprisingly, one of the first issues raised was the US-China trade imbalance.  I was quoted in a number of articles, including this one in the Los Angeles Times, pointing out that the exchange […]

Further Thoughts on Real Estate’s Impact on China GDP

In my previous post, I offered a rough-and-ready estimate of the impact that a real estate slowdown could potentially have on China’s impressive rate of GDP growth.  Based on some of the official figures for 2011, released earlier this week, I concluded that a mere leveling off (zero percent growth) in property investment — much […]

China’s 2011 GDP Numbers

The other day, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the end-of-the-year GDP figures of 2011.  According to official tallies, China’s GDP grew 8.9% in the 4th Quarter, a steady but modest decline compared to 9.7% in Q1, 9.5% in Q2, and 9.1% in Q3.  GDP growth for the full year was 9.2%. I was […]

China Data, Part 2: Slowing Growth

As China enters 2012, concerns that its economy may face a “hard landing” have entered the mainstream.  In recent weeks, Paul Krugman (“Will China Break?” in the New York Times) and Robert Samuelson (“China’s Coming Slump?” in the Washington Post) both penned hand-wringing op-eds warning of an impending Chinese downturn. It’s interesting to see the […]

Geithner Presses China on Iran

I was on Bloomberg today, talking about U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s visit to Beijing.  You can watch and listen to what I had to say here. One of the main purposes of Geithner’s trip is to try to persuade China’s leaders to cooperate with the latest Western sanctions on Iran — in particular, a new […]

China’s Top 10 Business Stories in 2011

As the year comes to a close, and we look forward to 2012, I continue the tradition I started last year and offer a brief look at the top stories that shaped China’s business and economic climate in 2011: 1. High-Speed Rail. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times — China’s ambitious high-speed rail […]

China Data, Part 1A: More on Property Downturn

I’m working on the promised next installment of data points on the Chinese economy as it enters 2012, but in the meantime, I wanted to quickly share a couple of interesting new property-related data points which have come my way since my last post: First, two on-the-ground reports about the property bubble bursting in 2nd-tier cities.  Bloomberg offers this […]