Debt weighs on China too

Doubts over China’s unexpectedly strong trade figures are mounting after Hong Kong reported its imports from the mainland. The numbers are far less than what China announced a few weeks back. Here is a direct video link.

The Chinese growth ‘miracle’ has come back down to earth weighed by the debt left from ‘stimulus’ efforts. See: The journey from luxury to thrift will test Beijing’s metal

“Total debts owed by the government, companies and households have ballooned to 240 per cent of gross domestic product, virtually double the level at the time of the global financial crisis…This year China is set to pay an interest bill of about $1.7tn, an amount not far short of India’s entire GDP last year ($1.87tn) but larger than the economies of South Korea, Mexico and Indonesia…

One answer to the question of why Beijing has fallen so rapidly into hock is that it had little choice but to do so; the liabilities represent the costs incurred from responding to the global crisis. The collapse of US demand in 2008 hammered China’s export sector, throwing roughly 30m people out of work in a matter of months and obliging Beijing to launch a stimulus programme that drew impetus from the ambitions of local governments to demonstrate their manifest destiny.”

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