Stein's Law: Pollution limits China economic growth

Last week saw fears that China’s economy was in trouble. Reuters reported the story with a splashy headline — China’s January official PMI slips to six-month low — while HSBC reported a New year fall for PMI:

Qu Hongbin, Chief Economist for Greater China and Co-Head of Asian Economic Research, HSBC, said: “A soft start to China’s manufacturing sectors in 2014, partly due to weaker new export orders and slower domestic business activities during January. Policymakers should pay attention to downside risks and pre-emptively fine-tune policy to steady the pace of growth if needed.”
Growth rates in output and new business weakened. New export orders declined for the second consecutive month, with firms suggesting weaker demand in a number of key export markets.
Employment levels fell for the third consecutive month and businesses cut jobs at the fastest pace since March 2009. Production levels continued to increase, while costs declined for the first time since July. Reduced costs were passed on to clients through lower output charges.
Purchasing activity increased for the sixth successive month, however the pace of growth was the weakest since September 2013.

Not mentioned anywhere might be an even bigger reason, a spectacular example of Stein’s Law in action. If you can’t view the video above, Shaun Rein explains at Bloomberg.
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