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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2014 - Data

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Tearing Down Mountains, Building Up Castles

    For buildings to go up, some buildings must also come down. As anyone who has walked down a city street in China can attest, the construction boom of the past decade was also accompanied by the destruction of many older buildings. But getting a handle on the precise scale of this activity has always been difficult. Our estimates based on census surveys suggest the volume of housing demolished over 2005-10 was much larger than we and other...

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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,...

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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...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q4 2013 - Urban Development

    For three decades China’s cities have grown by gobbling up fields and chopping down trees. But in a country that must feed one-fifth of humanity with just 8% of the world’s farmland, land is a scarce commodity. The government believes that it must maintain a minimum 120m hectares of cultivated land to ensure basic food self sufficiency. And since the current area is already very close to this so-called “red line,” cities must somehow grow...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q4 2013 - Property

    Forecasting future construction volumes is a tricky business, as any calculation must be based on a number of different moving parts. One of those parts is the volume of demolition: the more shoddy old flats that are torn down, the greater the volume of construction needed to replace them. Over the past decade, demolitions proved a significant driver of construction demand, as millions of home owners demanded newer and better apartments. But...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Property After The Plenum

    For ordinary Chinese, high housing prices remain one of their biggest concerns, and for economic analysts, the risk of a construction slowdown one of their biggest worries. For our part, we have argued that China’s housing market is moving into structural oversupply, after a decade of structural undersupply, and that significant adjustments are necessary. So it is surprising that the 60-point reform plan from the Communist Party’s Third Plenum,...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - Interpreting Rates And Reform

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - Corporations Underwrite A Consumer Recovery

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - Passing The Growth Baton

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Growth Is Stronger, Time To Step Up Reforms

    China’s third-quarter GDP came in at 7.8% YoY, the fastest pace this year. The main driver of the pickup was expectations. In the first six months, companies ran down inventories on the fear that the new leadership planned painful structural reforms, including further property market curbs and sharp monetary tightening. Then at a conference in July, Premier Li Keqiang, while eschewing a major stimulus, nevertheless offered assurances that growth...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    China Housing & Construction Review 2013

    China’s housing market is in transition. After a decade of severe under-supply of housing, the market is now flirting with over-supply thanks to a redoubling of construction volumes. Urbanization is continuing, but its place is likely to slow, and all cities will not benefit equally. Yet housing prices continue to rise, and the government continues to try to restrict many types of purchases. To understand how all these different trends fit...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    What Happens When The Land Runs Out?

    For three decades China’s cities have grown by gobbling up fields and chopping down trees. But in a country that must feed one-fifth of humanity with just 8% of the world’s farmland, land is a scarce commodity. The government believes that it must maintain a minimum 120m hectares of cultivated land to ensure basic food self sufficiency. And since the current area is already very close to this so-called “red line,” cities must somehow grow...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Investment Kicks The Construction Habit

    In sharp contrast to better than expected industrial output and export growth in August, residential construction is spluttering. Construction starts fell -20% YoY and were largely flat in the 3Q13 period. Sales growth for both apartments and development land also decelerated. Given the importance of property construction to overall Chinese investment spending, the weakness implies one of two things: either the recovery will be short lived, or...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Hard Choices For Housing Policy

    China’s new leadership has tried for a fresh approach on many economic policies this year. But on the key issue of housing, they have opted for continuity. The so-called housing purchase restrictions, the key housing policy of the last administration, have been firmly in place since mid-2010. Applied in most major cities, these measures put penalties on new housing purchases by those households that already own a house. By limiting housing...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    China Economic Quarterly September 2013 - Agriculture

    [LEFT]China is the world’s biggest producer of rice, wheat, pork, eggs, cotton, fruit and vegetables, and the second biggest producer of maize and poultry meat. It manages this with only 8% of the world’s farmland and 6% of its renewable water resources. Yet most of China’s farms are too small to be commercially viable and food-safety standards are poor. To raise productivity and meet the demands of more discerning consumers, China needs to...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2013 - Property

    After a thoroughly disappointing first half of the year, China’s government has been busily announcing targeted policies to shore up growth. One of the most important is a new program of slum renovation. This will start work on 3.04m units of new housing in the rest of 2013, and a total of 10m units by 2017. Given that new construction has been extremely weak so far this year, a renewed public-housing push has the potential to make a real...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - Reform Advances, Growth Steadies

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Growth Is In The Air (Maybe)

    Growth is in the air! This is the refrain we are hearing increasingly from Chinese government spokesmen, and there are a number of indicators that give credence to the official sanguinity. Construction starts rebounded strongly in July. A stabilization in the producer price index and steel and iron ore prices suggests destocking is ending. With Europe out of recession and US data improving, exports should provide another tailwind.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - Mixing Growth And Austerity

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