Are The Chinese Lying–And What That Means In The Mines

Jun 25, 2012

Before they shuffled off for the weekend, you kind of wonder weather the PM, or the Empty Suit (leader of the Opposition) orr Gina, the mining baron who is busy with her “I, Gina” show, had a chance to catch a story in the paper of record on the other side of the planet, which, if true, could mean a huge headache for the economy here at home. The upshot: China might be lying about its economic health. Uh-oh.

The New York Times weighed in with this nugget:

As the Chinese economy continues to sputter, prominent corporate executives in China and Western economists say there is evidence that local and provincial officials are falsifying economic statistics to disguise the true depth of the troubles.

Someone apparently is going around counting coal cars (talk about boring jobs–does that person get extra pay?):

Record-setting mountains of excess coal have accumulated at the country’s biggest storage areas because power plants are burning less coal in the face of tumbling electricity demand. But local and provincial government officials have forced plant managers not to report to Beijing the full extent of the slowdown, power sector executives said.

Electricity production and consumption have been considered a telltale sign of a wide variety of economic activity. They are widely viewed by foreign investors and even some Chinese officials as the gold standard for measuring what is really happening in the country’s economy, because the gathering and reporting of data in China is not considered as reliable as it is in many countries.

Indeed, officials in some cities and provinces are also overstating economic output, corporate revenue, corporate profits and tax receipts, the corporate executives and economists said. The officials do so by urging businesses to keep separate sets of books, showing improving business results and tax payments that do not exist.

What might this mean…nothing good:

The executives and economists roughly estimated that the effect of the inaccurate statistics was to falsely inflate a variety of economic indicators by 1 or 2 percentage points. That may be enough to make very bad economic news look merely bad. [emphasis added]

If the point of the story isn’t obvious: If China’s economy is actually very bad, not just bad, then, it will get worse here. Or to put a more fashionable for the season spin, perhaps inspired by the cacophony of sneezing and hacking rumbling from office pod to office pod, if China is coming down with an economic flu, it’s going to spread fast across Western Australia and every corner of the mining boom.

So, maybe all those regular people who aren’t feeling as optimistic as the Reserve Bank keeps telling they should be feeling know a lot more than the people in charge of monetary policy.


@jonathantasini

Australia – Fair and Just Compared

Feb 13, 2012

Q. Would you say that Australia is more or less fair and just as a nation and society than the following countries?

More fair and just About the same Less fair and just Don’t know
China 66% 11% 11% 12%
The United States 47% 33% 10% 10%
Japan 41% 30% 12% 18%
France 34% 34% 13% 19%
The UK 26% 58% 7% 9%
Canada 12% 61% 13% 14%
New Zealand 12% 68% 11% 9%

66% think Australia is a more fair and just society than China and 47% think Australia is more fair than the United States.

More than half think Australia is about as fair and just as New Zealand (68%), Canada (61%) and the UK (58%).

Views about the United States are similar across most demographic groups except for those on higher incomes – 51% of those on incomes over $1,600 pw think Australia is more fair and just than the United States.

Comments »

Importance of Relationships with Other Countries

Mar 28, 2011

Q. How important is it for Australia to have a close relationship with the following nations?

Very important Quite important Not very important Don’t know Very Important 15 Nov Change
New Zealand 69% 24% 4% 3% 54% +15
United States 60% 33% 5% 2% 56% +4
United Kingdom 56% 35% 6% 3% 44% +12
China 48% 42% 6% 4% 45% +3
Japan 39% 47% 9% 4% 30% +9
Indonesia 31% 43% 20% 6% 30% +1
India 26% 42% 26% 5% 24% +2
Germany 23% 42% 29% 6% 15% +8
South Africa 16% 36% 39% 8% 12% +4

More than half the respondents think it is very important to have close relationships with the New Zealand (69%), United States (60%) and the United Kingdom (56%) and just under half think it is very important to have a close relationship with China (48%).

A close relationship with the United States is considered very important by 70% of Liberal/National voters and 57% of Labor voters and 48% of Greens voters.

Since this question was asked in November, there have been substantial increases in the rating of the importance of relations with New Zealand (+15%), United Kingdom (+12%) and Japan (+9%).

Comments »

Change in Relationships with Other Countries

Mar 28, 2011

Q. Would you like to see Australia’s relationship with these countries get closer, stay the same or become less close?

Get closer Stay the same Become less close Don’t know Get closer

15 Nov

Change
New Zealand 37% 55% 3% 5% 29% +8
China 32% 52% 9% 7% 30% +2
Japan 26% 59% 8% 7% 21% +5
United Kingdom 25% 62% 7% 5% 20% +5
United States 24% 61% 11% 5% 20% +4
Indonesia 21% 51% 20% 8% 23% -2
India 19% 53% 18% 9% 22% -3
Germany 18% 62% 10% 10% 14% +4
South Africa 13% 59% 17% 11% 11% +2

37% think that Australia’s relationship with New Zealand should get closer and 32% think our relationship with China should get closer.

Labor voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (31%) and New Zealand (31%).

Liberal/National voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with New Zealand (42%) and United States (34%).

Greens voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with New Zealand (43%), China (38%) and Japan (34%).

Since this question was asked in November, the percentage wanting a closer relationship with New Zealand has increased 8%, and increased 5% for Japan and the United Kingdom.

Comments »

Importance of Relationships with Other Countries

Nov 15, 2010

Q. How important is it for Australia to have a close relationship with the following nations?

Very important Quite important Not very important Don’t know Very Important April 10 Change
United States 56% 34% 5% 4% 59% -3
New Zealand 54% 36% 6% 5% 56% -2
China 45% 44% 5% 6% 51% -6
United Kingdom 44% 43% 9% 4% 46% -2
Japan 30% 53% 10% 7% 40% -10
Indonesia 30% 48% 15% 7% 39% -9
India 24% 45% 23% 8% 27% -3
Germany 15% 43% 34% 9% 18% -3
South Africa 12% 35% 43% 10% 12%

More than half the respondents think it is very important to have close relationships with the United States (56%) and New Zealand (54%) and just under half think it is very important to have a close relationship with China (45%) and United Kingdom (44%).

A close relationship with the United Sates is considered very important by 65% of Liberal/National voters and 62% of Labor voters but only 37% of Greens voters. Greens voters consider relations with New Zealand (58%) and China (47%) more important.

Since this question was asked in April, the overall rating of the importance of relations with other countries has dropped – especially for Japan (-10%) and Indonesia (-9%).

Comments »

Change in Relationships with Other Countries

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Would you like to see Australia’s relationship with these countries get closer, stay the same or become less close?

Get closer Stay the same Become less close Don’t know Get closer April 10 Change
China 30% 50% 9% 11% 33% -3
New Zealand 29% 58% 3% 11% 33% -4
Indonesia 23% 49% 15% 13% 30% -7
India 22% 50% 14% 14% 24% -2
Japan 21% 58% 8% 13% 24% -3
United States 20% 60% 11% 10% 24% -4
United Kingdom 20% 63% 7% 10% 24% -4
Germany 14% 62% 9% 15% 16% -2
South Africa 11% 59% 14% 16% 13% -2

30% think that Australia’s relationship with China should get closer and 29% think our relationship with New Zealand should get closer.

Labor voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (32%) and New Zealand (29%).

Liberal/National voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with New Zealand (29%) and China (28%).

Greens  voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (38%), Indonesia (36%) and New Zealand (36%).

Since this question was asked in April, the percentage wanting a closer relationship with Indonesia has dropped from 30% to 23%.

Comments »

Australia’s relations with other nations

Apr 12, 2010

Q. How important is it for Australia to have a close relationship with the following nations?

  Very important Quite important Not very important Don’t know
United States 59% 33% 4% 4%
New Zealand 56% 34% 6% 5%
China 51% 36% 7% 5%
United Kingdom 46% 41% 9% 5%
Indonesia 40% 40% 13% 7%
Japan 39% 48% 8% 5%
India 27% 44% 21% 7%
Germany 18% 44% 29% 8%
South Africa 12% 41% 39% 8%

 Over half think that it is very important for Australia to have a close relationship with the United States (59%), New Zealand (56%) and China (51%).

 Labor voters were more likely to think a close relationship with China is very important (56%) while Green voters were more likely to think it is not very important (15%).

 Labor voters were more likely to think relations with Indonesia are very important (48%) and relations with India are quite important (51%). 

Coalition voters were more likely to think Australia’s relations with India are not very important (26%). However, these voters were more likely to think Australia’s relations with the United Kingdom (52%) and the United States (68%) are very important.  Comments »

Australia’s relations with other nations

Apr 12, 2010

Q. Would you like to see Australia’s relationship with these countries get closer, stay the same or become less close?

  Get closer Stay the same Become less close Don’t know
China 33% 45% 13% 9%
New Zealand 33% 56% 2% 8%
Indonesia 30% 48% 12% 10%
United States 24% 59% 9% 8%
United Kingdom 24% 62% 5% 8%
India 24% 50% 16% 10%
Japan 24% 59% 8% 10%
Germany 16% 65% 7% 12%
South Africa 13% 63% 12% 12%

When it comes to Australia’s relationship getting closer with various countries, 33% think Australia’s relations with China should get closer, 45% think our relations with China should stay the same and 13% think they should become less close.

33% support a closer relationship with New Zealand and 30% support a closer relationship with Indonesia.  The country that scores the highest in terms of one which Australia should become less close with is India (16%). 

Labor (36%) voters were more likely to think that Australia’s relations with China should become closer, while Coalition (17%) and Greens (23%) voters were more likely to think it should be less close. 

Labor voters were more likely to think Australia’s relations with India should stay the same (55%), while Coalition voters were more likely to think they should become less close (20%). Comments »

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