The US has once again ranked among the top two recipient countries for foreign direct investment. This column examines the effects of these large FDI inflows on the US domestic economy.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are by far the most efficient part of the Chinese economy and the only part creating real value. My experience in other developing countries suggest that SME owners tend to be the most sensitive to and aware of changes in risk, and if we start to see rising bankruptcies among SMEs, coupled with disinvestment and increasing capital outflows, that is almost always a very worrying sign. When SME owners start to worry, so should we.
Slow productivity growth and high inflation are denegrating real rebalancing for China. Internal Chinese consumption must increase to offset these effects. Demand for workers is driven primarily by unsustainable and unhealthy increases in the past two years in real estate and infrastructure development, and so is itself unsustainable. But, regardless of the cause, this is unquestionably healthy for China’s rebalancing process. As long as it continues, one of the main causes of China’s economic imbalances – the lagging wage growth relative to productivity growth – has been eliminated and even reversed.