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The Oz trial

True, the data didn’t worry Donald Trump. On the contrary, they prompted the instinctive mercantilist to tweet that China will be more desperate than ever to avoid the tightening of US trade tariffs due on 1 March.

Actually, probably not. But that’s not the issue anyway. The question is whether China’s growth will be sufficient to add a noticeable shove to the developed world’s stuttering economies; either by demanding more of the west’s capital goods to help fulfil its own capital formation, or – as is increasingly the case – by grabbing more western consumer goods and services. Such stuff may now be old hat to the affluent of Shanghai and Beijing, but it’s still ‘must have’ for the aspiring middle classes of Bozhou, Xiangtan, Chengde or any one of 100 substantial Chinese cities that you and I have never heard of.

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