Thursday, May 26, 2011

China Growth Story Stronger Than India's (For Now Anyway)

If you're tired of hearing about how the BRICs are a great place to invest for the next generation or so then you're going to be a lot more tired in the years to come.  Some Bloomberg index that no one has ever heard of assesses China as a much more likely growth story than other Asian economies. 

Traffic-grabbing headlines can gloss over deeper forces at work.  China's growth has been impressive but forced; something had to be done to put restive young single men to work to avoid social unrest.  Now China is at serious risk of price inflation and a real estate implosion.  The country also has too much overbuilt infrastructure serving no immediately useful purpose and potential energy supply constraints it must overcome. 

China's political leadership knows that it must keep generating international media attention for its growth narrative if it is to attract value-added manufacturing that complements its leadership in rare earth metal production.  Look for India to generate further headlines as it pushes for development of its water delivery infrastructure.  Let the headline wars begin, to be followed by resource wars in other emerging markets. 

Full disclosure:  Long FXI with covered calls.