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The Chinese economy is slowing, and everyone except the Chinese Communist Party knows it. An extensive ‘forensic examination’ by economists associated with the US Brookings Institution suggests that China has been over-reporting GDP growth for at least the last ten years (and probably longer). Western investors are pulling out of China in droves, and Chinese graduates from Australian universities are finding it hard to get jobs when (if) they go home at the end of their degrees.

Australian exporters have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of the China boom, so any concerns about China tend to have a ripple effect down under. That said, even if China’s economy isn’t growing at the officially reported rate of 6.5 per cent, the Reserve Bank is happy as long as Australian coal exports continue to rise. China can fake its economic accounts all it wants, but it can’t fake shipfuls of the black stuff leaving Newcastle, Hay Point and Gladstone bound for China.

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The full text of this article is available online at:

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/03/china-notes/

 

Salvatore Babones

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