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China Economic Watch

This blog monitors ongoing developments in China's economy, analyzes the impact of policy changes, and informs readers about new PIIE research on China.

Recent Posts

What Chinese investment could mean for Pakistan

by | May 22nd, 2015 | 03:30 am

Last month, during his visit to Pakistan, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a 46 billion dollar investment plan aimed at developing infrastructure in the country. This announcement represents an ambitious jump in Chinese involvement in the country, particularly considering the more gradual increase in Chinese FDI in Pakistan over the past decade (figure 1).  This […]

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New York Times Interviews Nicholas R. Lardy on Markets and the State in China

by | May 15th, 2015 | 03:06 pm

In an interview with David Barboza of the New York Times, Nicholas R. Lardy reviews the findings from his latest book, Markets over Mao. In stark contrast with the popular notion that China has discovered the magic elixir that allows the state to play a large role in business and be competitive and productive, Lardy […]

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Property Series Part 4: China’s Commercial Property Market

by | May 11th, 2015 | 08:38 am

[This is Part 4 in a series about China’s property market. See here for part 1, part 2, and part 3.] When thinking about China’s property market, the image that often springs to mind is that of the endless seas of residential towers one sees when flying into Beijing or Shanghai. And indeed, the demand […]

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PIIE Senior Fellow Nicholas Lardy in London – Video

by | May 8th, 2015 | 03:38 pm

China could grow at roughly 8 percent a year for another 5 or 10 years if its leadership continues the economic reform process of reducing the role of state-dominated industries, according to Nicholas R. Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Discussing his book Markets over Mao:  The Rise of Private Business in China […]

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Property Series Part 3: Property as an investment class in China

by | May 7th, 2015 | 05:07 pm

[This is Part 3 in a series about China’s property market. See here for part 1 and part 2.] Several years ago there was an ill-fated theme in the investment community of a ‘great rotation’ of investor capital out of government bonds and into equities. There is discussion once more about a great rotation, but […]

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Property Series Part 2: China’s Property Correction in Historical Perspective

by | April 30th, 2015 | 05:33 am

This is part 2 in a series about China’s property market. See here for part 1. The property market in China is clearly in a correction. As we showed in a previous post, price growth is deep in negative territory and all signs are pointing to further weakness ahead. This begs the question of whether or […]

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Property Series Part 1: Trends in China’s Property Market

by | April 28th, 2015 | 06:29 pm

This is part 1 in a series about China’s property market. In this post we try to give a broad update of China’s property market the past several years.  We take a look at housing prices versus quantity of floor space then we’ll wrap up with an overview of the housing policies Beijing implements in […]

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Chart of the Week: China Ends its Exports Tax for Rare Earths

by | April 27th, 2015 | 02:11 pm

This week, China announced that it was ending its export tax on rare earth minerals, essential components of many electronics, including computers and smartphones.  This announcement follows China’s removal of export quotas in this sector in January; the quotas were found to violate WTO trade rules at the end of last year. The  ruling, through […]

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Real Value of China’s FX Reserves is Essentially Flat

by | April 16th, 2015 | 11:31 am

There has been a lot of debate lately about China’s foreign exchange reserves, whether the People’s Bank of China has been intervening, and in which direction.  It appears from the data available that the PBoC has done little or no intervening in the exchange market.  Data released this week shows that the value of China’s FX […]

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Chart of the Week: Broad-based decline in China’s property market

by | April 7th, 2015 | 03:04 pm

Late last month, the People’s Bank of China announced a further easing of mortgage requirements. This reflects a growing concern from policymakers and many analysts1 about the extent of the slowdown in the property market. Rightfully so – aggregate housing prices are in the midst of the sharpest correction in a decade, and it does not […]

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