Friday, February 10, 2017

Whoa: Hold The Doom-n-Gloom On The Chinese Economy, The Hipsters Are Thriving

Older Chinese people are among the greatest "Don't give a damn what you think" sartorialists in the world and, I think, led the Chinese millennials into developing the fashion sensibility.
It's not just in China either, the insouciance is visible in Chinese communities around the world.
Via the Accidental Chinese Hipsters tumblr:
and many more.

Back to the younger crowd, here's FT Alphaville on reasons to think the Chinese economy may be doing better than the traditional analysis suggests:

China’s hipster indicator
In general this would be deserving of a ‘This is nuts. When’s the crash?‘ headline, but Bernstein don’t seem to be going quite that way:
Chinese pop idol Lu Han this week launched a venture capital firm focusing on lifestyle trends among Chinese millennials. Han is joining a cohort of celebrity investors like Angelababy (who managed to beat us to the name AB Capital) and Zhao Wei, who co-invested in Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures. These kinds of things don’t happen when consumer sentiment is negative and a “get me out” investor psychology has taken hold. They happen at the exact opposite end of the business cycle. So, is China imploding… or overheating?
We think the questions they’re asking here are: Can the Chinese economy really be in trouble when its hipsters are thriving? Can a serious drive to get capital out of the country co-exist with demand for fancy cars and nice meals at fancy restaurants that are growing apace?
Or, what does it matter that reserves dropped below $3tn for the first time in five years — according to IMF estimates and UBS, China needs between $1.75tn (with capital controls) and $2.82tn (with no capital controls) to withstand a currency attack — if consumers are feeling perky?
From Bernstein’s Michael Parker by way of an answer:
We may be making a meal of the restaurant data but it is simply impossible for us to reconcile the two competing narratives about China at present....