Yes, China’s economic growth is down – 7.5% as opposed to the previous 8%.
It is not the sort of news coal companies will want to be hearing – at least on face value.
It is not surprising the Chinese economic “slump” has been driven by the persistent slump in the US and the growing debt woes in Europe.
Slump because the economic growth has slipped half a per cent but there are several countries in Europe that would kill for 7.5% growth right now.
However, the news from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is that while the economy has slowed slightly the view ahead is looking pretty good.
It means the hard landing many have feared in China is not going to happen and things are looking fairly positive.
Wen said China’s economic fundamentals remained sound and the country still enjoyed huge growth potential, pointing to the bumper summer harvest, cooling inflation and rising incomes.
He said the government would combine stabilising investment with implementing mid to long-term development plans, promoting urbanisation and agricultural modernisation, improving people’s livelihoods, upgrading industries, exploring emerging markets and encouraging private investment.
Much of this will require an increase in energy and steel and, therefore, more coal.
So while Chicken Little runs around squawking, it might be a good time to reach for the axe.