Receive "The World According to Tom Barnett" Brief
Where I Work
Search the Site
Buy Tom's Books
  • Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Emily V. Barnett
Monthly Archives
Powered by Squarespace
« Chart of the day: US natural gas price versus Europe's versus Asia's | Main | Map of the day: Ivory Coast's north-south/Muslim-Christian divide »
10:26AM

Chart(s) of the day: The Chinese economic "miracle" of past decade

From the Economist.

In a nutshell, it ain't their growing domestic consumption and it isn't their current account surplus (exporting prowess - see below), it's the amount of public investment.  And as the lower right (above) chart shows, China is revving that particular supply-side motor a lot higher than either Japan or South Korea did.  

All of this is to say: nothing miraculous here.  And no endless linear rocket upward either.

References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (1)

I'm back in West Qinghai Province. The new highway connecting the city of 200K to the Salt Lake Potash Factory is now in. Rather than a very bumpy 1 hour, you can now get to the factory in 40 minutes and not feel beat up when you arrive. Problem is is that very few people take the highway. The highway toll is 20 RMB (about USD 3) vrs 5 RMB for the weathered old road (USD 75 cents.) For most people, more comfort and 20 minutes are not worth 15 RMB (USD 2.25), even in shared taxis. The Salt mine/potash factory employee bus with 30 workers or so per bus doesn't even take the highway. (For them it would be RMB 50 vrs RMB 10 and around 35 minutes time savings, as they can't go very fast on the old road.)

Another thing I notice is that in Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province, the empty buildings are all still there, it's just that now they are surrounding by even more buildings under construction. There's no way that more than a fraction of these buildings will ever be occupied.

This kind of mal-investment is common throughout China and is why I think a debt crisis is coming at some point. There is way too much investment being directed by the government into project that will never make a return. Unlike in the past where deposit growth and an ever expanding export base could bail out the banks, China will at some point have to face the consequences of these issues.

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Dunn

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>