The latest fall in stock markets was clearly made in America and had nothing to do with China, unlike the case two weeks ago. But keep a watch on the latter nonetheless.
Lehman Brothers is expecting further tightening measures from China. AFX/Forbes reports:
China is expected to adopt tighter monetary policies and restrict exports in the coming months, Lehman Brothers said.
The investment bank said 'unwelcome' February economic data would push Beijing towards action on the monetary and trade fronts.
I mentioned the trade data on Monday. What are some of the other data?
China's money supply growth in February, for one. Xinhua Online reports:
By the end of February, the broad measure of the money supply, M2, which covers cash in circulation and all deposits, went up 17.8 percent year-on-year to 35.9 trillion yuan...
By the end of February, the narrow measure of the money supply, or M1, was 12.6 trillion yuan, up 21 percent...
The outstanding renminbi-dominated loans amounted to 23.5 trillion yuan in February, a rise of 17.2 percent.
Then there is inflation. Although inflation in producer prices slowed in February, Reuters reports that consumer price inflation continued to rise.
The consumer price index (CPI) was up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.
That was more than January's 2.2 percent increase but fell short of market forecasts of a 2.9 percent rise.
Combining January and February to iron out calendar quirks caused by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays, prices were up 2.4 percent from a year earlier. In the same two months of 2006, the CPI was up 1.4 percent...
Higher food prices, which make up a third of the consumer price basket, have been largely responsible for the rising inflationary trend over the past year. They were up again in February, by 6.0 percent over the same month last year.
Meanwhile, economic conditions in China remain buoyant. Certainly in retail, as Reuters reports.
China's retail sales in the first two months rose a strong 14.7 percent from a year earlier, reinforcing a trend of sturdy spending buoyed by rising incomes and government steps to spur consumption.
The figure, released on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics, was a bit higher than market expectations of a 14.5 percent rise and December's 14.6 percent increase.
And in industrial production, as Bloomberg reports:
China's industrial output grew at the fastest pace in eight months as surging exports and retail sales encouraged companies in the world's fastest-growing major economy to produce more steel, cars and clothes.
Production rose 18.5 percent in January and February, the National Bureau of Statistics said today, after gaining 14.7 percent in December. That beat the 15 percent median estimate of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
And foreign direct investment continues to grow. From China Daily:
China received some $9.7 billion in FDI from January to February, up 13.04 percent from the previous year, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.