Is China’s economy headed for a crash?

In his assessment of the global economy’s performance 2013, legendary financier George Soros warned of dangers in the Chinese economy:

The major uncertainty facing the world today is not the euro but the future direction of China. The growth model responsible for its rapid rise has run out of steam.

That model depended on financial repression of the household sector, in order to drive the growth of exports and investments. As a result, the household sector has now shrunk to 35 percent of GDP, and its forced savings are no longer sufficient to finance the current growth model. This has led to an exponential rise in the use of various forms of debt financing.

There are some eerie resemblances with the financial conditions that prevailed in the U.S. in the years preceding the crash of 2008. [Project Syndicate]

That, as William Pesek notes, is a rather ominous conclusion. So is China due a crash?


2 thoughts on “Is China’s economy headed for a crash?

  1. “As a result, the household sector has now shrunk to 35 percent of GDP” Chinese domestic markets have not shrunk in real terms. To the contrary, post 2008 domestic consumption has grown at healthy rate with room for continued growth. Wadges have shown moderate growth and cultural changes seem to be encouraging domestic consumption of goods and services. Chinese domestic policy is more open than many assume. Local and regional planning is healthy and continues to decentralize sending the one size fits all approach of communism to the ash heap. Much of the third world views China’s increasing world role as positive and non-threatening. Chinese continue to invest internationally and will also profit as western economies recover. China does have both national and regional energy plans and the electrical grid is designed to take advantage of future uses of wind/solar and emerging fusion technology at a local and regional level. They certainly face challenges and they may not meet western expectations (fears) of becoming the largest economy in the world by 2025, But I would not be surprised if in 25 years there are more 3d-printers in the living rooms of China than the garages of the west.

  2. This is the most complete overview of the subject I’ve seen. I hope John and others will follow with more comparisons with US, EU, Japan, et al. Soros can be puzzling: is any given statement from the cards-held-close-to-the chest speculator, from the investment elder statesman, or from the leftist (anti-democratic) U.S. political financier?

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