Today stock markets in Shanghai, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have jumped to their highest levels since October. Reasons for the jump are said to be optimism over the recovery in China and–for Taiwan–the expectation that their markets will soon be open to Chinese investment.
My own casual observations might also fuel optimism on Chinese markets. I spent Saturday afternoon in a new shopping mall near our home in Suzhou. My daughter was there to experience the big indoor playground, but first we explored the mall, got a bite to eat, watched the crowds wander by. The crowds were big. The mall has only been open a few days, and there was a light rain outside, so maybe that explains the crowds, but I was surprised to see people shopping in what is supposed to be a big economic downturn.
But were people spending money? Hard to say. They were buying snacks and paying for the kids to get in the playground, but I don’t remember seeing many shopping bags around.
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