Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crisis, what crisis?

I'm sitting in Bangkok airport en route to the UFI Congress in Istanbul and this post from Fons Tuinstra really caught my eye. He's quoting from a Bloomberg piece which says that October exports from China were up 19.2% in October on 2007, just slightly down from September's rise of 21.5%.

The Bloomberg piece quotes Wang Qian, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong saying "Demand from Europe and the U.S. will inevitably shrink further, damping China's exports and thus domestic investment''. Fair enough. It would be a miracle if it didn't. But export growth of almost 20%? This doesn't sit comfortable with claims of pending disaster, factory closures and mass unemployment.

As Fons says, with commendable understatement, "it is not yet enough to make me panic". Either things aren't so bad or somebody's taken the optimistic abacus down from the top shelf for adding up the numbers.

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