Given it is likely mostly lies, the most remarkable feature of the Chinese recovery is that it still looks like crap. Headline growth indicators are weak with industrial production up a lousy 4.4% year on year and still down -2.8% YTD. It’s even worse elsewhere with retail sales down -2.8% YOY and -13.5YTD. Fixed asset investment is still down -6.3YTD:
Digging into things a little, it’s still ugly. Empty apartment sales are down solidly YTD but turning upwards YOY:
Starts are likewise headed up:
That leaves floor space under construction up a lousy 2.3% and falling:
Fixed asset investment is all SOE and infrastructure-related:
That leaves industry very mixed but with building-related stuff out of control. Steel production hit an insane 92.2mt:
With the scrap component still crushed:
Meaning blast furnaces are going like the clappers.
Cement is equally bananas:
Power generation was at 4.3% YoY and -3.1% YTD.
Finally, retail has continued its structural slump with eating out a thing of the past:
This is your classic Chinese stimulus recovery. All building to no purpose with truly mind-boggling levels of raw material inputs to drive it and never-ending wasteful debt making imbalances worse.
Great for iron ore and not much else.
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