Monday, 7 September 2015

Is China's market turmoil like Japan's in the 1960s?

Bloomberg has a report that says that “China's Turmoil Could be Just a Blip”.

China’s economic slowdown and market crash often evoke comparisons with Japan’s bust in the 1990s...

Yet a more apt parallel may instead be its neighbor’s experience of the 1960s. That’s according to Paul Sheard, chief global economist at ratings company Standard & Poor’s in New York, who worked in Japan between 1976 and 2006...

Here’s what happened: The Japanese economy soared in the build-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics... The stock market went on a roller-coaster ride as growth boomed then slowed, and got walloped when policy makers tightened credit.

After a big sell-off in 1963, authorities intervened...

The interventions...eventually worked. Shares began to rally, and economic development continued apace...

Like Japan five decades earlier, China is still at a middling stage of economic development, meaning the economy has significant room to grow.

Still, as the article notes, there are differences.

China is facing a shrinking labor force, quite different to Japan in the 1960s. China’s economy is also more open than Japan’s was then, leaving it vulnerable to capital outflows that are now complicating its exchange-rate policy.

The demographic difference in particular will probably be critical in the longer term.

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