Experts see solid signs that China growth is slowing

Jeremy Hobson Mar 15, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Well now to a story that’s getting a lot of attention this morning. A respected analyst at JP Morgan in Hong Kong says China’s economy is already experiencing a quote “hard landing.” And of course a slowdown in China could have big implications for our economy. According to Bloomberg, the analyst says, “It’s not a debate anymore, it’s a fact.”

Adolfo Laurenti is deputy chief economist with Mesirow Financial, and he’s with us live from Chicago to discuss. Good morning.

Adolfo Laurenti: Good morning.

Hobson: Well, Adolfo, do you agree that China’s slowdown is really happening — that it’s in full swing?

Laurenti: There is no question China’s slowing down right now. I think it’s in the eye of the beholder to define “hard landing” — according to that report is a 6 percent growth, which I would say for our standard would be very positive. But clearly it’s not China growing the way it was until a couple of years ago. So something is happening in China, and we should pay very close attention.

Hobson: And if that is happening, Adolfo, is that the kind of thing that could lower demand; bring down prices of things like gas here in this country? Could it actually help our economy?

Laurenti: It’s a double-edged sword. We always think about China as a source of export to the United States. But in reality, we also sell a lot of goods and services to China, so in that respect, the “hard landing” would not be good news.

Yes, the energy prices would come down; commodity prices would come down. But we also have to keep in mind that, unlike energy, commodities are just a small portion of the overall cost of our product. So the overall impact is not going to be as big as we may expect.

Hobson: Adolfo Laurenti, deputy chief economist with Mesirow Financial, thanks so much.

Laurenti: Thank you.

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