Slowing Down Amid a Protracted Trade War

Beijing.

There is no future in predictions, as common as they are at this time of year.  Add China into the mix and fate will be tempted to a dangerous degree. But there is one thing we can say for definite … the party will celebrate its 70th anniversary of coming to power in October, 2019.  That could mean that much needed reform to the economy is delayed rather than risk social unrest in the run up to a key anniversary. Everywhere you go in Beijing there are signs of a slowing economy. Shops closing, factories letting people go, family holidays canceled.  And a marked drop in property prices.  I live in north Beijing in an area beyond the 5th ring road with no shops selling designer brands. You are considered successful in Beijing if you live inside the 4th ring road. The nearest subway is a 20 minute walk, as are the nearest shops. This in no way could fall into the des-res category.

There are six residential blocs in my compound each with 100 flats. These flats were originally built to house elderly inhabitants from inner city areas. But many of their children, now adults with their own families, thought it might be a good idea to bring their parents in with them and rent out the new flat.

Judging by the lights on at night, 70 percent are empty and have been for more than a year. Plans for two nearby shopping centers have been put on hold because there are so few potential customers. Even in northern Beijing, the most affordable part of the Chinese…

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