China's Economy Slows down
Interesting to note that not even a highly controlled economy like China is immune to what's going on in the rest of the world.
Interesting, too, that they have had a "housing bubble".
Part of the issue is that the Chinese government’s leaders have decided to put quality-of-life concerns ahead of maximizing economic growth when it comes to two of the country’s largest industries: housing and autos.
Premier Wen Jiabao has imposed a strict ban on purchases of second and subsequent homes, in the hope that discouraging real estate speculation will improve the affordability of homes. The ban has resulted in a steep decline in residential real estate prices, a sharp fall in housing construction and widespread job losses among construction workers.
The Chinese auto industry has grown tenfold in the last decade to become the world’s largest, looking like a formidable challenger to Detroit. But now, the Chinese industry is starting to look more like Detroit in its dark days in the 1980s.
“Inventory levels for us now are very, very high,” said Huang Yi, the chairman of Zhongsheng Group, China’s fifth-largest dealership chain. “If I hadn’t done special offers in the first half of this year, my inventory would be even higher.”
Yet businesspeople in a wide range of industries have little doubt that the Chinese economy is in trouble.
“Inventory used to flow in and out,” said Mr. Wu, the faucet and sink sales manager. “Now, it just sits there, and there’s more of it.”