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Anjani Trivedi

Don’t Believe the Grim Forecast. China Is Just Fine

Beijing’s poor headline numbers aren’t the only story — and that means investors need to use a new lens to assess the economy.

Building up.

Building up.

Photographer: Gilles Sabrie/Bloomberg
Updated on

Industrial China is alive and well despite concerns of an economic slowdown. It just doesn’t look like it did before — or at least, what everyone is used to.

Data this past week showed a dismal picture: Industrial output rose 3.8% from a year earlier, which was below expectations, fixed investment grew slower than forecast and credit, usually a sign the economy is pushing through, was weak. Property sector figures, long taken as an indication that authorities were going to keep developers’ debt-fueled building extravaganza on course, were depressing all around. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its gross domestic product forecast for China’s economy, lowering its projection for this year to 3% from 3.3% earlier.