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Categories: Economy

China's Surprising Trade Numbers

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on March 11

By Dexter Roberts Amongst the flood of economic statistics released this week by Beijing, the trade numbers certainly were some of the most notable. With imports up 19.4% and exports...

Christchurch Quake May Slam Economy, Too

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on February 23

Tuesday started out as a great day for New Zealand's economy. Fonterra, the giant cooperative that dominates country's dairy industry, announced that a 10.5 percent increase in its forecast payout...

China's Economy Facing Risks, Warn Officials

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on January 05

More signs that China's red hot economy is facing potential problems: on a central bank-run website called China Finance, People's Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan warned yesterday that industrial overcapacity could...

South Korean Economy Back on Track

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on December 12

There's a growing consensus among economists that South Korea is well on its way to returning to health. The Bank of Korea, the central bank, projected on Friday the country's...

Manmohan Singh, India's Economy and Free Trade

Posted by: Mehul Srivastava on November 09

After a long hibernation from the lecture circuit, India's soft-spoken and carefully scripted Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, stepped onto a dais and promised more of the same. Well, not exactly,...

New World Bank China GDP Growth Forecast: 8.4%

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on November 04

The World Bank raised its forecast for China’s GDP growth in 2009 to 8.4%, providing yet more evidence that the Chinese economy is in full recovery mode. Six months ago...

World Bank Raises China GDP Growth Forecast to 8.4%

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on November 03

The World Bank revised upwards its forecast for China’s GDP growth in 2009 to 8.4%, providing yet more evidence that the Chinese economy is in full recovery mode. Six months...

As Japan Helps Consumer Lenders, Bankers Worry About Zombies

Posted by: Kenji Hall on November 03

In Japan's consumer lending industry, there has been little to cheer about lately. Less than three years ago, the government began tightening rules on consumer financing firms to discourage them...

China's 3rd Quarter GDP 8.9% -- But is it Sustainable?

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on October 22

For those who believe China is an unstoppable economic machine, more evidence out today with third quarter growth clocking in at an impressive 8.9%, up from 7.9% in the second...

China-US Trade War?

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on October 12

One more sign that trade tensions are heating up between China and the world: as announced on the Ministry of Commerce’s website today, Beijing will impose tariffs as high as...

Asia to Lead Global Economic Recovery

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 12

Singapore’s economy, one of the worst hit in Asia early this year by the global downturn, has catapulted its way out of recession, clocking a 14.9% quarter-on-quarter annualized growth in...

Hopeful Signs from China's Consumers

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 07

China is in the midst of its eight-day holiday to celebrate its National Day. Golden Weeks like this (there’s another at Chinese New Year) provide many Chinese with the only...

What to Make of China's Falling FDI?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on August 17

The Shanghai stock market fell 5.8% today following news from the Chinese government that foreign direct investment in July fell 35.7% to $5.36 billion. That’s ten months in a row...

Japan’s recession ends as GDP rises at 3.7% pace between April and June

Posted by: Ian Rowley on August 16

Japan’s economy is growing again. According to figures launched this morning in Tokyo, between April and June, GDP edged up 0.9% compared to three months earlier. At an annualized rate,...

Shanghai Stock Market: Bubble Days are here again

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on July 29

How do you spell stock market bubble? S-H-A-N-G-H-A-I. China’s main share market is up 80% this year, and some IPOs have skyrocketed several times their offer price on the first...

China Surprisingly Strong GDP Growth 7.9%

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on July 16

China’s GDP growth clocked an impressive 7.9% in the second quarter, surpassing economists expectations about the Chinese economic recovery. There is even now talk of a V-shaped recovery, which just...

China's Yuan No. 3 Global Currency by 2012

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on July 07

The Chinese yuan could overtake the Japanese yen to become the third most important international currency used in trade by 2012. Or so HSBC economist Qu Hongbin thinks. That's...

Will deflation spoil Japan's economic recovery?

Posted by: Ian Rowley on June 26

In recent weeks there have been signs that the worst of Japan's economic slump is over. Gross domestic product, which plunged at a terrifying pace after the collapse of Lehman...

More Economist Upgrades For China's GDP Growth

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on June 25

Signs that China's economic recovery is gaining speed have led to a flurry of optimistic revisions to GDP growth forecasts in the past week. First the World Bank upped its...

World Bank Raises China Growth Forecast

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on June 18

The World Bank’s China Quarterly Update released today in Beijing contained some good news, and some not-so good news. First the good news: the Bank has raised ts forecast for...

It's Official: Beijing's 'Buy Chinese' Policy

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on June 17

More evidence has emerged that China intends to favor its own companies as it spends money to boost its economy, including through its $586 billion stimulus package. As I blogged...

Green Business and Protectionism in China

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on June 12

I hardly expected to get an earful on how China’s $586 billion stimulus package fails to meet even basic standards of transparency and well may prove of limited benefit to...

Treasury Secretary Geithner Faces Tough Talks in China

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on May 29

Beneath the usual diplomatic niceties, there is likely to be some real friction as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets top Chinese officials in Beijing early next week. Premier Wen...

China's Yuan a Reserve Currency?

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on May 20

China’s ambition to make its currency more powerful globally was on display, once again, on Wednesday. This time an official in the China Banking Regulatory Commission said that his country's...

China and Brazil: Dump the Dollar

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on May 19

It is just the latest sign that China and other developing nations are increasingly ready to challenge the currency status quo. Just before beginning his three-day visit to China, Brazilian...

Chinese Economy Gaining Steam

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on May 01

Here’s the latest evidence that China's economy is gaining steam and that the government’s pump priming is starting to pay off. China's Purchasing Managers Index, or PMI, issued on May...

Japan: Work Less and Save the Economy

Posted by: Kenji Hall on April 21

The Japanese government is entertaining some new ideas for getting consumers to dip into their savings. Here’s one: Penalize companies whose employees don’t take their vacations. The financial daily Nikkei...

China's Economy and Optimism

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on April 18

A rare bit of optimism when it comes to the world economy emanated today from China’s tropical south. The occasion: the annual Boao Forum for Asia which opened Friday on...

Ho Hum: China Economy Grows 6.1%

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on April 16

It’s all about managed expectations, I suppose. China announced its first quarter GDP growth figures today of 6.1% and most analysts just shrugged. Consensus figures were 6.2%, with a fairly...

Japan's Economic Stimulus: How Long Can It Help?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on April 10

Back in the late 1990s, Japan doled out billions of dollars for public works to revive its flagging economy. But the pork-barrel spending was never popular with economists. Many criticized...

Google Moves on China Music

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on March 31

With its March 30 announcement that it is moving into music search in China, Google is hoping to narrow the gap with its mainland rival According to research firm...

Japan Prime Minister's Stimulus Plan Targets Voters, G20

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 31

On March 31, Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso pledged to spend more public money to ease some of the pain caused by the faltering economy. In a speech televised live...

China's Economy and the Crisis

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on March 18

There are two interesting pieces in the media this week looking at how China’s economy may change in response to the world financial crisis. On March 16 Keith Bradsher writes...

Is Japan Helpless To Help Itself?

Posted by: Kenji Hall on March 12

Dreary news about the economy comes in big dollops these days. The latest: Revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures confirming that Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized 12.1% in the...

Premier Wen Jiabao: China's Economic Challenges

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on March 05

At the opening of the annual National People’s Congress this morning in Beijing, the mood was mainly somber. In the work report—sort of like a Chinese version of the State...

India's GDP sinks

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on February 27

As expected, India's GDP in the quarter ended December 2008 came in sharply lower - 5.3% compared to the 7.6% in the previous quarter. The Sensex dropped 153 points on...

S&P downgrades India

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on February 24

The Congress Party could finally be getting its come-uppance. Today, S&P revised India’s sovereign rating from stable to negative. Moody’s may follow suit. According to S&P, ‘India's fiscal position has...

Pirates Big Oscar Winners in China

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on February 23

As the Oscars were announced at the 81st Academy Awards Sunday evening in Los Angeles with titles like Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button nabbing multiple honors,...

China Warns "Buy American" Effort is Protectionist Poison

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on February 16

China has long been a favorite target of U.S. protectionists, and in recent years has been subjected to a number of anti-dumping measures on steel pipes, televisions and coated paper....

Another Take on the China vs India Debate

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on February 12

Eye on Asia bloggers are pilloried regularly by our readers for raising the China vs. India debate. Some of our more virulent critics have accused us of being a part...

What to Make of China's Awful Trade Numbers

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on February 11

As my BusinessWeek colleague Frederik Balfour points out in this Eye on Asia post, January was another terrible month for Chinese exports, falling 17.5% compared to January 2008. Imports were...

Will India Pass China as Best Growing Economy?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on February 10

Talk about a tarnished prize. According to this Economic Times story (the ET is a content partner of BusinessWeek), India may soon pass China to become the fastest-growing major economy....

Korea Hit Hard by Shockwaves from China

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on February 04

Economic data released by South Korea in recent days underline how a recession in China could bring misery for the rest of Asia. Korea’s exports suffered the worst monthly plunge...

Cleaner Skies for Hong Kong in Year of the Ox?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 28

The Year of the Ox has gotten off to a bad start in Hong Kong. In a ceremony at a local temple yesterday, a government official drew the worst straw...

A Hard Landing for China's Economy

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 19

With Chinese New Year starting next week and worries rising about hard-hit factories in southern China shutting down for the holiday and not reopening afterwards, a new report out from...

China's Economy Needs "Faith and Determination," says Premier Wen

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on January 12

"Our aim is to be the first to recover from the financial crisis. We must have faith and determination." That’s the optimistic goal and call for confidence, set over the...

Nikkei: American Zombies May Attack Japan Inc.

Posted by: David Rocks on January 07

A decade ago, Americans and Europeans criticized Japan for its so-called “zombie companies”--moribund enterprises on government-funded life support. Now, the zombies may be rising again, but this time they’re more...

New Year blues in Japan

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 31

It will be very interesting to see how busy Japan's department stores are on January 2, the traditional start of the New Year sales season. In normal years, keen shoppers...

China-Taiwan Economic Ties Keep Getting Closer

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on December 19

Following the historic resumption of Cross-Straits daily direct links including air, shipping and postal on Dec. 15, China and Taiwan economic ties continue to warm. Today in Shanghai was the...

China and Taiwan Economic Ties Grow Closer

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on December 15

It’s a big day for cross-Straits relations. Ending an almost 60-year-old ban on direct links that date back to the civil war between the Chinese Communists and Taiwan’s KMT Party,...

China's Millions of Migrant Workers and the Economic Downturn

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on December 08

The plight of China’s hundreds of millions of migrant workers has lately been on my mind, as the world economy slows and more and more of the export factories of...

Christmas with Chinese Characteristics: In a Flagging Economy, Beijing Lays on the Tinsel

Posted by: David Rocks on December 07

If you want to experience Christmas in all its commercial splendor, undiluted by any religious sentiment or spiritual meaning, come to China. Beijing is full of Christmas trees, animatronic Santas, nutcrackers. Every store seems to have Christmas specials, and the soundtrack matches that of any mall in Cleveland, Kalamazoo, or Colorado Springs.

A Chinese Thanksgiving and the World Economic Crisis

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on November 28

Another visit to the lovely Diaoyutai Compound in west Beijing, this time it is Thanksgiving Day, and a beautiful sunny one too. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has gathered a group...

As the Economy Slows, Japan Inc. Keeps On Shopping

Posted by: Ian Rowley on November 17

It's official: Japan, the world's second largest economy, is now in recession. According to figures posted this morning by the Cabinet Office, Japan's GDP contracted an annualized 0.4% in the...

China's Investment/Consumption Dilemma

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on November 14

The $586 billion stimulus package’s rationale is clearly to serve as a major investment push for the slowing Chinese economy with an immediate aim—helping those industrial sectors of the economy...

China Unveils Major Stimulus to Economy

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on November 09

China has finally unveiled a long-anticipated economic stimulus package of about $585 billion dollars to be spent by the end of 2010, amounting to a whopping 16% of GDP according...

China's Economy: So Long to Fast Growth?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on November 06

As a business journalist writing about China, you sort of take it for granted that Chinese economy is unstoppable. Of course it's the world's fastest-growing country. Of course it has...

Tokyo clampdown on "naked short selling" boosts stocks

Posted by: Ian Rowley on October 28

After Tokyo stocks slumped to an astonishing 26-year low yesterday, some market watchers moaned that the Japanese authorities had failed to do enough to combat the soaring yen. The concern...

Asia’s Crisis is Just Getting Started

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 27

Another day, another bloodbath in Asian markets: Japan’s Nikkei index was down 6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng off by over 12%, Shanghai down by more than 6%. With tolerance for...

BOJ Official: Low Japan Rates May Have Fueled Risky Bets

Posted by: Kenji Hall on October 21

Earlier this month when the Fed and other central banks around the world conducted a coordinated rate cut to calm panicky financial markets, the Bank of Japan opted out. With...

An Asian Iceland?

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on October 10

What Asian countries are most at risk of an Iceland-like debacle? The countries especially vulnerable, says S&P's Elena Okorotchenko, who does sovereign research from the Singapore office, include Indonesia, Pakistan,...

Will Mariah Carey lift mood of Investors in Chinese Stocks?

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on September 24

At the CLSA Investor Forum here in Hong Kong there haven't been a lot of backslapping and hi-fives, which isn’t surprising considering the headlines these days. But as one CLSA...

Astronauts, Earthquake Relief, the Olympics, and Chinese Pride

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on September 09

With national pride at a peak following the just completed Beijing Olympics, China’s government has plans for another major pride—boosting gesture. Between September 25-30, China plans to send three astronauts...

Emerging Markets Give Japanese Company Profits a Boost

Posted by: Ian Rowley on August 18

The last quarter wasn't a good one for Japan's economy. According to government figures released last week, the world's second largest economy contracted by 0.6% (2.4% annualized) in the April-June...

China to Pass U.S. as World’s Top Manufacturer

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on August 12

The economic news from China right now isn’t great: Factories are hurting, exports are down and the inflation figures are mixed (today’s consumer price inflation figure was an encouragingly moderate...

Cambodia's response to inflation: stop releasing figures

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on June 23

With Asian governments from Beijing to Manila to Delhi trying to tame the inflationary beast, the Cambodians have come up with a rather unusual solution of their own. According to...

Japan stocks bounce back

Posted by: Ian Rowley on May 07

It's not quite time for investors in Japan to start popping champagne corks, but the benchmark Nikkei 225 is the best performing among big Asian economies in the last month....

Shanghai's market still feels like a casino

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on April 24

Gee whiz. The Shanghai Stock Exchange lept 9.3% today, its highest one-day jump in six years the day after the government announced it was slashing the stamp duty tax from...

Taiwan Gets a Boost from S&P

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on April 11

The election of Ma Ying-jeou as Taiwan's president might be starting to pay off for the Taiwanese economy. Ma recovered the presidency for the Kuomintang last month after pledging to...

Now it's India's Turn to Woo Africa

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on April 09

During the Cold War, leaders from China and India liked to polish their Third World cred by emphasizing their ties with countries in Africa. The Chinese and the Indians could...

India's slowdown

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on March 13

As the US economy brakes, it is causing the meaningful economies of the world to stall with it. India and China, which are both supposed to balance the agony of...

The Indian budget highlight: a $15 billion charity give-away

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on February 29

Indian finance minister Mr. Chidambaram today presented his last budget to the Indian parliament. Next year, 2009, is an election year in India, and the ruling Congress coalition is desperate...

Reforming India's futures market

Posted by: Manjeet Krpalani on January 31

The Securities & Exchange Board of India, the country's securities regulator, has gotten a lot of flack from investors and market participants for its passive stance during last week's market...

South Korea May Be Lucky to Grow by 5%

Posted by: Ihlwan Moon on January 22

There’s no doubt South Korea’s President-elect Lee Myung Bak has raised expectations for brisk economic activities with his pledged business-friendly policies. Yet his promise of lifting this year's economic growth...

Japan's taxi drivers join the fight against deflation

Posted by: Ian Rowley on December 03

Spare a thought for Tokyo's taxi drivers. Today, they got a raise for the first time in a decade. As of this morning, the minimum fare to take a taxi...

Pity Japan's investors

Posted by: Ian Rowley on November 13

It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for Japanese investors. Earlier this year, they got blamed for stoking the yen carry trade by plowing into higher yielding overseas assets. Now,...


Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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