THE “plum rain” that envelops Shanghai every summer — a confusing mix of drizzle, fog and smog — is a handy metaphor for the murkiness that currently enshrouds China’s economy.
A drumbeat of negative views about China’s economic prospects dominates the country’s image. The financial weekly Barron’s recently proclaimed in a cover story that “it looks like the Great China Growth Story may be falling apart.” On Friday, China is expected to announce new, subpar growth figures.
But consider a less prominent fact: a Bloomberg survey of economic forecasters yielded an average projected growth rate for China of 8.2 percent for 2012. If that’s the oft-predicted “hard landing” from the heights of China’s historic double-digit rates, let’s all wish for a similar fate for the United States. No other major country — not even Brazil or India — will grow at a rate near China’s this year.