Chinese production slowed in November

Rob Schmitz Dec 1, 2011

Mitchell Hartman: Today we’re bouncing off the biggest stock market jump in two and a half years after central banks announced a coordinated effort to ease Europe’s debt crisis. But first, news out of China that its economy is slowing down, and Europe’s partly to blame. China’s factories slowed in November — for the first time in three years.

From Shanghai, Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz reports.

Rob Schmitz: The European debt crisis is definitely having an impact on China. The EU is China’s biggest export market, after all. But —

Patrick Chovanec: Um… it’s not entirely that.

Patrick Chovanec teaches business at Tsinghua University.

Chovanec: It’s also because there’s a slowdown in China.

It’s an intentional slowdown. China’s been tightening up lending all year to deal with on overheated property market and to battle record inflation. The good news? The strategy’s working. The bad news? The resulting economic slowdown is making China’s central bank nervous. Yesterday it freed up $61 billion for banks to lend.

Chovanec says: bad idea.

Chovanec: The role of the central banker is to take the punch bowl away just as the party’s getting started. And the danger here is that they just handed the punch bowl right back.

Chovanec says all this new money in China’s economy will continue to inflate the property bubble and will most likely lead to higher inflation. And that means less money for Chinese consumers — not a good sign for U.S. companies doing business in China.

In Shanghai, I’m Rob Schmitz, for Marketplace.

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