China’s economy allegedly grew at 6.9% in the first quarter, and smog levels and traffic would suggest certain parts of the economy at least are pumping. But the analysis was that the higher-than-expected number was largely the result of the steel industry boosting production and the iron bubble that is the China property market.
That GDP number is probably more about the 19th Party Congress than anything else, as are most China developments of note. There seem to be lots of things going on that relate to power struggle and what it all means is anyone’s guess beyond the obvious conclusion that things are not as smooth as they would like up there. If there is an atmospheric sense we are getting from Chinese society at the moment, it is of an ever-greater determination on the part of those with any assets to get all or most of them out. Why? Is the obvious question. Isn’t this the world’s second-biggest economy and isn’t it growing at 6.9%? Are we missing something? Obviously we are.
And then there’s Korea. No nuclear war yet, as predicted last week. We like it when we’re right on such issues. Beijing wants the whole thing to just go back to sleep again, so they appear to be putting just enough pressure on Pyongyang to get them to vaguely behave, but not enough to cause any damage that could spiral into collapse. Are there other factors at work in North Korea that we are unaware of? Is the US really capable of sabotaging a North Korea missile launch? Maybe and maybe. What we need right now more than anything is a solid insider leak article on the current state of Chinese politics. But what we’re probably going to get is just more Trump messiness.
Anyway, summer’s here and it’s the weekend so take a break from worrying. No, scratch that, the French go to the polls on Sunday. Damn.