Three numbers should suffice to give Chinese economic policymakers a sleepless night: 65.4 million, $28.7 billion and $2.45 trillion.
In order, they are the estimate by a government researcher of how many apartments stand vacant in China, many of them bought as speculative investments; the country's trade surplus in July; and the international reserves the central bank has accumulated by buying dollars to hold down the yuan.
Together, they encapsulate the distortions of an economy that favours investment by suppressing the cost of capital and other inputs at the expense of consumers, whose spending power is held down by low wages and low deposit rates.
Text: Alan Wheatley, China Economics Editor, Reuters
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