Foreigners often describe China as "different"; a mysterious land whose people have a perplexing way of getting things done. Yet, when it comes to economic data, foreign "experts" look at China as they would look at any other country. I am not talking about those who ignore the fact that China's government tweaks economic indicators to fit pre-defined goals. Enough has been written about that (here, here, here and here, for example). I am talking about the way in which well-regarded western publications look at real indicators, and the assumptions they make in the process.
This morning, for example, I received a newsletter from RGE Monitor, Nouriel Roubini's consultancy firm. Reading it, I learned that 'unlike many global markets, the residential property market in China is showing some signs of stabilization'. The facts are correct. The free fall in residential prices has stopped, and in some places there are even slight increases. A sign of recovery? not necessarily.
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