A slowdown in China's expanding,
The brightest and best
Are correctly obsessed
With predicting a hard or soft landing.
The Hard guys are finding it troubling
That the property market is bubbling,
And China's growth race,
To equal the pace
Of construction, would have to be doubling.
Say the Softies: there isn't just one way
Of averting a slump the yuan way;
While liquidity's free,
One can easily see
There's a gentle descent to the runway.
Economists and analysts around the world are weighing in on the question of how quickly China's sky-high growth rate will fall, and with good reason: while the developed world limps along at 1-3% growth, China's National Bureau of Statistics announced that their nation's economy grew 9.2% in 2011. The problem is illustrated by the Wall Street Journal graphic; though China is the jet engine propelling the world economy, it is on a downward glide path. Will there be a hard landing, in which property markets collapse and, directly or indirectly, throw millions out of work?
Yes, says Professor Patrick Chovanec of Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management in Beijing. Dr. Chovanec points out that an outsized portion of Chinese GDP growth belongs to real estate, which is growing unsustainably fast. "Frankly, you don’t need a real estate collapse in order to trigger a serious slowdown in these sectors. All you need is a pause in the hitherto frantic pace of construction," says the professor.
No, say Zhou Xin and Nick Edwards of Reuters; China's vast fiscal resources give it powerful tools to moderate a slowdown, which the Fed and the European Central Bank can only look upon in envy.
Both sides make good points, but the most important perspective is that the future of China is many times more important to the world economy than that of, say, Greece.