I’ve been a stranger in these here parts recently but only because my beat—international trade and logistics—is busier than ever. International activity waits for no great recession. But, given all the talk of China and global currency wars recently, I can’t resist pointing out this speech by Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO. The gist of it is the trade statistics which policy makers use to make decisions are outdated. Here’s a particularly relevant section: Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a stat that snuck up on me.
“For the first quarter of the year, 2.7 million cars were sold in China — besting U.S. sales of 2.2 million for the first time to become the world’s largest car market.”
There are many ways to look at this, two of which are: a) good God, there goes our efforts on climate change; b) maybe China can pull us out of the recession.
The CNN article tells us there are 100 Chinese automakers hoping to take advantage of the growing market, not to mention the multinational companies and government-owned entities like GM and Chrysler. A growing Chinese market would help with over capacity of cars out in the world. But, it would be even better if those cars were environmentally friendly. The Chinese are pushing for electric cars and Warren Buffet’s favorite car company is going electric.
But, most of the electricity in China is generated by coal. In other words, it’s a mixed up, muddled up, crazy world we live in. On the other hand, our region’s clean tech sector may stand to benefit. Like I say, there’s a lot of ways to look at this.
With Halloween approaching, perhaps it’s appropriate that the news continues to be frightening. 401ks that look like Jason. Recessions as deep as the hole the Seahawks find themselves in. Companies tightenting their belts like the winner of The Biggest Loser. Yep, it’s Halloween.
Do they celebrate Halloween in China? Latest word is their economy is slowing down too. Economic growth is down below double digits. Best Buy’s same-store sales in China are down 7% as are a variety of other retail companies. In the last 10 years, China has grown to become one of Washington State’s most important trading partners and the largest partner through our ports. For the Puget Sound region, a slow down in China and other international economies may be as worrying for our economy as the bonfire on Wall Street.