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China Is Still Where ‘Folks Make Stuff;’ And the U.S.?

April 15, 2016 (EIRNS)—Very grudgingly, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning: "More credit and debt-fueled spending helped China ease a slide in growth, though the momentum may prove short-lived and risks are exacerbating ills that have dragged on the economy for years."

President Obama at least is ruefully aware, as he put it in 2014, that in China, "a lot of folks are making stuff." The country’s first quarter GDP growth was reported today at a 6.7% annual rate; fixed-asset investment grew at a 10.7% annual rate in the first quarter; industrial production grew at a 6.8% rate in March; retail spending rose, etc.

There is a contrast to the continuing reports on the U.S. economy, where, as Obama frequently states his governing desire, "We make the rules," but not much else.

U.S. industrial production has dropped on an annual basis for seven months in a row through March. The yearly drop just reported by the Commerce Department, through March, is a large 2.0%. The drop from February to March was 0.6%. Notably, motor vehicle production, the remaining center of shrunken U.S. industry, dropped 2.8% in March. And it can be recalled that of the more than 650,000 jobs reported to have been created in the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 2016, there was net creation of goods-producing employment of just 22,000, all in residential housing construction.

U.S first-quarter GDP estimates (there are now competing ones from the New York Fed and the Atlanta Fed) are converging on annual growth rate well under 1%.

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