Private fixed-asset investment in things such as buildings and factories looked like it took a steep fall this year, causing worry as private sector contributes two-thirds of all investment, The Wall Street Journal reports. But the “slowdown” may be due to Beijing’s one trillion yuan ($150 billion) stock-buying exercise that caused many companies previously classified as “private” to now be classified as state-owned, because state investment funds now own significant parts of those companies, suggests analysis by Nicholas Lardy and Zixuan Huang of the Peterson Institute. Spending that would have last year been classified as private is now considered state spending. Worryingly, that could indicate a backtracking on years in which more and more economic activity was supposedly generated from the private sector.
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