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    Gavekal Research

    China's Growth And Debt Pressures

    The modest slowdown in GDP growth that China has just reported for 4Q13—to 7.7% YoY from 7.8%—is universally expected to be the first installment of a series of weaker growth numbers. Chinese authorities have been clamping down on new credit since May, and more recently pushing up short-term interest rates. These are welcome moves after the balance-sheet explosion of recent years, but ones that will inevitably have an effect on real economic...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: A Tale Of Two Targets

    With the momentum of China’s growth slowing again, some nagging questions about the leadership’s economic strategy can no longer be avoided. The big one is just how much of a growth slowdown they are prepared to accept from the current push for supply-side reform. While the previous administration talked a good line, its tolerance for such slowdowns in the event always turned out to be minimal.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Hangover From China's Urbanization Boom

    As China’s leaders in recent weeks have laid out an ambitious agenda for market-driven economic reforms, one element has been strangely lacking: urbanization. Premier Li Keqiang made this his signature issue during his years as deputy to the former premier, and has frequently talked up the potential for urbanization to drive China’s future growth. Yet a coherent urbanization policy has been nowhere to be found, as Li’s desire for a healthier,...

    1
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Targets Of China's Tightening

    Higher Chinese interest rates are back, and this time it looks like they are here to stay. The People’s Bank of China drew global attention in June when it sharply forced up short-term interbank interest rates. But the central bank mishandled the episode, causing unnecessary shocks to confidence in the financial system by failing to communicate its policy intentions, and had to allow rates to retreat. Though this led many observers to question...

    8
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - The Follow-Through Begins

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    China Economic Quarterly December 2013 - Internet Companies

    In the December issue of the China Economic Quarterly, we examine the state of the Chinese internet, with a focus on the Big Three internet companies: Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. Despite continued government crackdowns on online discussion, China’s internet is booming: 600m people are online, including approximately 450m using mobile devices, and ecommerce may account for close to 10% of total retail sales in 2013. Nearly all this economic...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q4 2013 - Income Inequality

    Most of the news about China’s economy over the past few years has not been very good: growth has been on a steady downward slide, debt has piled up, and housing prices have continued to climb. Yet there is at least one exception: while other things have been getting worse, China’s income inequality has been quietly getting better. Most observers have either not recognized this trend or actively denied it (the OECD’s China desk is an honorable...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    An Exit Strategy For China's SOEs?

    One of the many surprises in the ambitious reform agenda just announced by China’s Communist Party leadership (see Xi Jinping Changes The Rules Of The Game) was how much it had to say about the vexed subject of state-owned enterprise (SOE) reform. The conventional wisdom in Beijing had been that the plan would focus on technical policy changes on which there was already agreement—such as financial system reform—while putting off difficult...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Deleveraging With Chinese Characteristics

    The reform blueprint delivered by China’s leadership has eased some of the doubts about the direction the country is heading (see Xi Jinping Changes The Rules Of The Game). But the plan did not say much about how to manage the economy in the shorter term. And we have argued that for these longer-term reform plans to be successful, they need to be matched with tighter monetary policy and hard budget constraints on state firms and local...

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    Gavekal Research

    China's Plenum Ends, Uncertainty Remains

    The Communist Party leadership emerged from a four-day meeting (formally, the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Central Committee) to find a world breathlessly awaiting its master plan for overhauling the economy. The meeting did indeed approve a reform plan and issued a shorter communique, but perhaps inevitably, raised more questions than it answered.

    1
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Inequality Is Improving, Discontent Is Not

    Most of the news about China’s economy over the past few years has not been very good: growth has been on a steady downward slide, debt has piled up and housing prices have continued to climb. Yet there is at least one exception: while other things have been getting worse, China’s income inequality has been quietly getting better. Most observers have either not recognized this trend or actively denied it (the OECD’s China desk is an honorable...

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    London Seminar September 2013 - Anatole, Andrew, Joyce, Francois and Charles

    For those who missed our seminar this week in London, see below links to the audio files to listen to our five speakers, and separate links to view their presentation slides. See below in order of speaker. The audio files may take a moment to open:

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    Gavekal Research

    China Bulls And Bears Through The Looking Glass

    It used to be easy to tell China bulls and bears apart. A China bull was someone who thought that economic growth would be pretty good in the near future, because of the country’s basically bright long-term prospects. A China bear was someone who thought near-term growth would be poor, since the economy’s huge long-term problems were about to come home to roost.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - A New Strategy For Foreign Investment?

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A Secret Plan For World Domination

    Despite US President Barack Obama’s enforced absence, this week’s gathering of the leaders of Asia-Pacific economies made “significant progress” on one of his signature priorities: a new trade agreement that would join the US and 11 other countries. Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been underway since 2009 and are scheduled to wrap up by end-2013. Trade talks are usually as dry as unbuttered toast and attract similar...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Don’t Wait For China’s Consumption-Led Growth

    Consumer spending has not been repressed in China, so there is no point in waiting around for it to be finally unleashed. We should not expect China’s consumption to accelerate in the midst of an investment slowdown that is dragging down overall economic growth. China’s real economic problem is not deficient consumption but inefficient investment.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    In China, Stability Without Stimulus

    The pendulum has swung back. Fears about China’s growth and financial strains reached their peak in June, but since then optimism has started to return, as business surveys and economic data have begun to improve. And the latest economic data indeed confirm that growth has stabilized and started to recover somewhat. China’s most important monthly indicator of growth momentum, industrial value-added, accelerated to a 10.4% YoY gain in August,...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Korea And China: Rhyme Or Repeat?

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian country emerges from a period of internal strife to take global markets by storm. Sweeping domestic reforms and a hands-on industrial policy result in a surge in manufacturing capabilities and exports, which in turn drive years of sustained and rapid economic growth. But once exports start to slow, the government tries to keep growth going by pushing up investment. This works for a while, but...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2013 - Books

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian country emerges from a period of internal strife to take global markets by storm. Sweeping domestic reforms and a hands-on industrial policy result in a surge in manufacturing capabilities and exports, which in turn drive years of sustained and rapid economic growth. But once exports start to slow, the government tries to keep growth going by pushing up investment. This works fora while, but...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2013 - Economic Survey

    Watchers of China’s economy could be forgiven for suffering from whiplash after the summer of 2013. The swings between negative and positive sentiment were among the most severe and the most sudden we have ever experienced. These huge swings are in themselves evidence of the great uncertainty over China’s prospects as it tries to navigate a smooth exit from the last few years’ surge of investment and debt. But they also reflect the teething...

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