Most of China's growth this year has been unsustainable, driven by stimulus. China's money supply has risen 29% in the past year. At the government's behest, banks have increased their lending by nearly $1.4 trillion, or 32%, during that time.
That flood of borrowed cash has been channeled into new infrastructure and production capacity. These investments will account for up to half of China's gross domestic product this year, according to some estimates.
A key question is whether China needs all of this investment. Analysts at the London hedge fund Pivot Capital Management say that China already has enough idle steel-production capacity, for example, to match the steel output of Japan and South Korea combined.
Meanwhile, the ratio of investment to GDP is rising, suggesting China's investment is less and less efficient, says Edward Chancellor at Boston asset-management firm GMO.
The combination of soaring investment and dwindling returns was seen in Japan in its asset bubbles in the 1980s and in the "Asian Tigers" just before their crises in the late 1990s, he says.
The link is here. Does anyone know how to say "excess capacity" in Chinese? Even more importantly, can you get it past the typepad spam blocker?