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China's slowdown is, so far, quite moderate [ClearOnMoney]
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China's slowdown is, so far, quite moderate

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Commentary

China's slowdown is, so far, quite moderate

12 Mar 2012 by Jim Fickett.

The current growth rate in industrial production, though below average, is pretty close to average.

There are a number of signs that China's growth has been slowing lately. For example, at the end of last week it was reported that the year-over-year growth for industrial production was down to 11.4%, from a range of 12.4% to 15.1% last year:

(The gaps in the graph are because industrial production figures are not reported in Januaries. The latest value is the annual change from January and February of 2011, combined, to January and February of 2012, combined.)

Although the deceleration is large enough to be real, it should be noted that 11.4% annual growth is not exactly a recession. In fact, it is not really all that low a growth rate even for recent history in China. According to Trading Economics,

From 1990 until 2010, China's industrial production averaged 13.46 percent reaching an historical high of 29.40 percent in August of 1994 and a record low of -21.10 percent in January of 1990.

Considered against the background of a range from -21% to +29%, the difference between the average of 13% and the current 11% is not very large. In other words, the current growth rate, though below average, is pretty close to average.