Far from being the menace that many in Washington, DC, make it out to be, China is frightening right now for its economic weakness.Economic figures there have been a mess — from a slowing GDP, to weakness in bank lending, electricity output, luxury goods sales and other aspects of the economy. Most ominously, China’s manufacturing sector has shrunk for seven straight months.
This week Beijing cut interest rates in an attempt to boost growth, the first time it’s done that since 2008. There’s also talk about another big government stimulus package in the works. But many China watchers warn this is unlikely to stimulate domestic demand, while the country’s key exporters will be challenged by the ongoing weakness in Europe and the US.
So where does all of this global economic unease leave President Obama and Mitt Romney?Pay close attention to the steady stream of economic reports coming out of Washington, Brussels and Beijing. That’s where this election will really be decided, for better or worse.