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China City Crash-Lands to Zero Growth on Coal Bust

Economic growth in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, has crashed to zero from 12 percent in one year. Yan Xiaofeng’s coal-equipment business has gone down with it.

Yan, 38, said last week that he’s recorded 1 million yuan ($160,000) in sales so far this year from supplying gear and parts to coal mines, down from more than 10 million yuan a year in the boom times of 2009. “The economy in Shanxi is very simple: It’s all about coal,” said Yan, who’s been in business in the region for 15 years. “When the coal industry is in decline, every other business follows.”