Huge chunks of the Chinese economy are actually in decline

There are two stories about China right now. The first one, coming from the Chinese government, is that China’s economic growth is entering a “new normal” period in which growth will moderate to about 7% a year — relatively sedate for the Chinese.

The second school of thought argues that China’s economic numbers are fudged at best and outright lies at worst, and that real GDP is maybe only 4% per year.

That’s still pretty good growth for an economy the size of China’s.

But, according to a fantastic research note from Macquarie today, huge chunks of the Chinese economy have actually stopped growing or are trending toward decline. Here’s a look.

The Chinese market for construction equipment is in decline.

Railway freight is in decline.

Container movement is barely positive and growth is in a long-term decline.

Same story with power consumption — China’s crazy need for more electricity is a thing of the past.

On the consumer side, car sales are down too.

With those numbers as the backdrop it is perhaps not surprising that China’s manufacturers reported zero purchasing sentiment growth for July.

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