Sunday, March 1, 2009
The Chinese Economy Revealed
I read Keith Bradsher’s article in the New York Times Article “China’s Unemployment Swells as Exports Falter” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/business/worldbusiness just after returning from a visit to Dongguan – a city mentioned in the article as a place where many factories delayed reopening after the Chinese New Year holiday, a place of rising unemployment. Driving around, sitting in meetings listening to people focus on expanding their domestic market rather than exporting, there was no sense of the crisis described in the article. However, there was a clue – one that seems familiar to those of us in Los Angeles or New York. A restaurant where we had dinner one night, a restaurant that usually requires weeks advance notice for a reservation was only a third full. My host remarked that he was extremely surprised that he could get a reservation on the day of the dinner. If you wonder about employment, general economic conditions, you may not need to to check the railroad station to see if there are the throngs of people described in Keith Bradsher’s article, rather check the restaurants that attract a business people. Full or empty? Reservations hard to obtain or can you walk in? Let us hope that reservations become scarce soon.