Chinese GDP statistics are notoriously unreliable at signalling turning points, so I decided to test the temperature on the ground with a macro tour in Beijing. A couple of days of meetings with policymakers, academics and investors left me comforted and alarmed in equal measure.
The balance of payments data reading for Q3 shows that capital outflows from China accelerated again. Like wild horses, capital outflows can develop a dynamic of their own. So what are the drivers? Furthermore, is there already evidence of panic and how might policymakers react?
Having visited China at least once a year over the last 10 years, two weeks ago I was back in Beijing, swapping my Bloomberg screen for a ‘real world’ view of the world’s second largest economy. Meeting with friends, academics, investors and policymakers, here’s my take on what I saw and heard.