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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ: Is It Safe? Pollution And Food Safety

    Unbreathable air and toxic food top the list of urban China's anxieties, and the government has finally started to take notice. Since taking office in 2013, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have aggressively stepped up efforts to clean up the polluted skies and improve the safety of the food supply. The air pollution efforts have borne some fruit: average levels of fine particulates fell by 9% in the first half of 2014. But a lot...

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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (3 September): World Labor Markets

    In our latest bi-weekly review of global economics, we take a searching look at the forces affecting labor markets in the world’s major economies. How robust are the medium term prospects for wage growth? And how will the longer term forces of ageing populations and increasing automation affect the outlook for jobs? Overview: Arthur Kroeber examines how the wage-positive influence of developed world demographics will balance the job-negative...

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    Gavekal Research

    Killing Democracy To Save Capitalism

    Beijing is tightening its control over Hong Kong’s institutions and political processes. Last week anti-corruption agents raided the homes of three of the city’s prominent pro-democracy figures. Then on Sunday Beijing handed down a long-awaited decision on constitutional development which crushed the city’s hopes for open elections. China’s increasing influence over the nominally-autonomous territory is deeply resented by many in the former...

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    Gavekal Research

    Market Review: A Summer Series

    In late July and early August Anatole went up the mountain so to speak and penned a series of articles that aimed to explain where we were in the current market cycle, and more importantly where we are likely headed. With most major asset classes continuing to head higher we thought it worth republishing Anatole’s consolidated thinking in a single document. Please click on the pdf link above, or, alternatively, the articles can be read...

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    Gavekal Research

    Growth & Markets Monthly (September 2014)

    This month we note a slight deterioration in our global growth indicators, which probably mirrors the significant economic deceleration seen in Europe. On the risk side, markets do not appear stressed, although there has been a slight widening in the US corporate spread (albeit from very low levels). On the question of inflation vs deflation our indicators offer a mixed picture: on the one hand our diffusion index of US CPI components keeps...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014

    “Selective easing” of monetary policy temporarily boosted GDP growth. Premier Li Keqiang has shifted emphasis away from structural reform and toward supporting growth. Credit growth picked up in Q2 and fiscal spending accelerated, enabling GDP growth to rebound modestly to 7.5%. But the cyclical support is not enormous and growth will likely slow again in early 2015.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Stirring Dragon, Nervous Neighbors

    Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific by Robert D. Kaplan (Random House, 2014)

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Food Security, China Corruption, Asia Pacific High Anxiety

    A New Line On Food Security

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Beijing Eyes The Bay Of Bengal

    China wants to build road and rail links from Yunnan all the way to Kolkata, thus securing a virtual western seacoast. Myanmar and India want the investment but are wary of the strategic implications.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Keeping The Dinner Table Healthy

    After enduring milk powder laced with industrial chemicals and pork tainted with dangerous steroids, Chinese consumers are ramping up demand for imports and organics. Local firms are responding by consolidating markets and upgrading their technology, and the government is tightening food safety rules.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Bringing Back The Blue Sky Days

    After Beijing’s infamous Airpocalypse, Premier Li Keqiang declared war on air pollution. Official data show surprising progress in the past year. To sustain this progress, the government must embrace more systematic and market-oriented approaches.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - A Real War, More Ammo Required

    China’s pollution problems may not be the worst in history, but they are bad enough. Progress in correcting them has been real but inconsistent. Loud commitments by the new leadership, and a tough new environmental law, offer hope of a faster clean-up.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Summertime, And The Jailin' Is Easy

    Xi Jinping’s war on corruption is far more than just a cynical power-play. Will it work?

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Wage Growth Still Solid For Now

    As China’s economic growth has downshifted over the past few years, one of the big surprises has been the absence of bad news from the job market. Wages are still rising at double digit rates, and employers still have trouble filling vacancies. The reason, as is now widely understood, is that the structural slowdown in investment growth is happening at the same time as a structural shift in the labor market. Changing demographics and the...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C Overview: Demography vs Technology

    We have written a lot about two trends with big potential impacts on the balance of power between labor and capital. The first is demography, which since World War II has been a tailwind for growth, but is now turning into a headwind. Virtually every major economy faces a steep fall in its worker-to-retiree ratio, even the US which is often thought to be exempt from demographic destiny because of its relatively high birth rate and openness to...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Small Business To The Rescue?

    Premier Li Keqiang’s most successful economic reform so far is deregulation that has led to a surge in registrations of new private businesses. The next step will be to let these little companies become big ones.

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    Gavekal Research

    China Avoids A Summer Soft Patch

    Has China’s growth hit yet another soft patch? Growth disappointed early in 2014 as a property downturn led to severe pain in construction and heavy industry, prompting the government to ease up on fiscal and monetary policy. Better data in May and June seemed to show that looser policy had succeeded—until a suite of surprisingly weak readings in July raised the prospect that the mini-recovery had just been a mirage. Particularly concerning was...

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    Gavekal Research

    The US Dollar Breaks Out

    Is there a more consensus trade then being bullish on the US dollar? With a) the US economy outperforming those of Europe and Japan, with b) the Federal Reserve looking to withdraw some of the extra-ordinary stimulus that it has deployed in the past five years, just as the need for the European Central Bank, and possibly the Bank of Japan, to become a lot more aggressive becomes ever starker, with c) the Pentagon limiting its defense spending...

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    Gavekal Research

    Iron Ore’s Battle Of Attrition

    Iron ore prices in China are down almost 30% this year, and have languished below US$100 a ton for three months—an unusually protracted downturn in a volatile market. Last year I argued that the iron ore price would stay around US$120 for the next three years, with a relatively high floor set by the rising production cost of Chinese ore, and the reluctance of global miners to invest in new supply capacity. Is this year’s price plunge a temporary...

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    Gavekal Research

    Five Corners (20 August): Velocity Of Money

    In the latest bi-weekly review of global economics and investment we focus on the velocity of money and the credit cycle in the major economic regions: Overview: Charles Gave notes with concern the downturn in the Gavekal Velocity Indicator. US: Will Denyer looks where the US is in the credit cycle and argues it looks more like 2004 than 2007. Europe: François Chauchat argues that contrary to popular belief Europe’s long credit crunch is...

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