Sunday, 20 May 2007

China by numbers: more on the bubble

Today's observer has yet another piece on the Chinese stock market.

Is China's trick cycle on the turn?

Whilst most of this article just regurgitates "taxi driver" anecdotes there are a couple of more interesting paragraphs. The first backs up by previous post "Bursting Chinese Bubble" - a contagion effect? that argued that even a burst bubble would have no lasting effect on world stock markets.
Judged by size alone, the Shanghai market is still small, and with most shares owned by domestic investors there would be little direct impact on world markets from a crash. But when prices dropped 9 per cent in February it triggered sell-offs from Tokyo to New York, as anxious investors fretted that China could be the first domino to fall in an emerging-markets shake-out. Since then, Shanghai has bounced back - prices are now 45 per cent higher than they were in February - but another wobble could shake global confidence.

What is useful is a list of China related numbers:
200m: The number of people in the Chinese middle class

10pc: Average economic growth per year for the last 15 years

$1 trillion: Beijing's total foreign exchange reserves

800pc: The increase in output per head over the last 30 years

3rd: In 1978, China was 23rd in the league table of trading nations; last year it was third

45pc: The rise in the value of the Shanghai stock exchange since February

15pc: Average growth in exports per year between 1990 and 2005

1st: China is the world's largest consumer and producer of steel, cement, colour televisions and meat

60pc: Thirty years ago, more than 80 per cent of the Chinese population lived in the countryside; today, less than 60 per cent do

$18bn: The total trade deficit the US ran up with China in March alone

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