That is why the emergence of new frailties in China is a cause for concern, not only for the mandarins in Beijing but also for CEOs and policymakers the world over.
They have good reason to be worried. In early April, two disquieting trends became clear. The first was that inflation has really started to take off. The second was that Beijing has so far been unable to tame overinvestment in some key industries.
Of the two, inflation has the greatest potential to upset the Chinese apple cart. For several months, many Chinese economists have agreed that if the consumer price index (CPI), China's main barometer of inflationary pressure, was to rise to above the bank lending rate of between five and six percent, Beijing would come under strong pressure to raise interest rates.
The central bank has been reluctant to raise rates because, in addition to cooling investment, it would have the unwelcome effects of crimping consumer spending and fuelling upward pressure on the renminbi. That is why the bank has tried to mop up liquidity in other ways, mainly by raising the requirement for banks' deposits kept at the central bank.
Until early April, the feeling was that inflation could be kept below the magic 5% figure. But that is now uncertain. Commodity prices rose 8.3% year-on-year in March, with investment goods climbing 8.8% and consumer goods advancing 7.4%, according to central bank estimates.
The CPI for March had not been announced by the time this magazine went to press, but it seemed likely that it would also show a marked jump from February's 2.1% year-on-year increase. And, in any case, there is evidence that the central bank has started to trust its own indicators on inflation more than the statistics bureau's sluggish, old fashioned CPI.
More worrying than the figures, though, is the fact that many of the factors powering inflation appear structural in nature. Shortages of coal, water, grain, electricity, transport capacity and a host of raw materials are behind the price rises. They are not going to dissipate any time soon.
Grain prices in particular appear set to climb further, partly because of severe water shortages and partly because urbanization is reducing the availability of agricultural land. Food makes up much of the CPI's weightings. With this backdrop, Beijing is expected to redouble efforts to tame activity in the industries that are driving demand and, therefore, inflation. These include steel, aluminium, cement, cars, real estate, petrochemicals and others.
These efforts are not expected to be of a general, one-size-fits-all nature but instead be directed at restricting investment into substandard, unprofitable, environmentally-polluting and wasteful projects. China is about to get serious.