Artificial Growth Exhibit A: China's Inventory Stockpiling Hits All Time High
Need a quick GDP boost in a world in which the uber levered consumer is tapped out and has no more savings or purchasing power, in which the government is facing an existential socialism or bust crisis even as global sovereign debt levels are at unseens before levels, and in which global trade has collapsed (so there go the C, G and (X-M) components of GDP)?
No problem, just add some I for Inventory.
Better yet, add a whole lot of I, especially if you are that global growth dynamo, China, which over the years many have accused of having taken the term "overcapacity" and put it through the Barry Bonds juicer yet where courtesy of a central-planning regime that has made sure nothing appears to be unused, except for the occasional ghost city or empty mall, proof of such overcapacity has been scarce in official, government data.
Well, today we have definitive evidence - once again courtesy of the private sector where fudging and manipulating data is that much more difficult - that Chinese Inventory is now at absolutely all time record highs.
Below, courtesy of CLSA's Chris Wood, is a chart of rising inventories as a percentage of revenue. What is visible is that the inventory-to-revenue ratio of A share companies, excluding financials and energy, increased to a historical high of 1.37x in 1Q13, while the receivable-to-revenue ratio also rose to a 10-year high of 0.52x.
And that's were the bulk of Chinese "growth" has come from, which in turn is supposed to be the global growth buffer because without China growing at a comfortable 7.5%-8%, the rest of the world is lost.
But don't worry, "if you stock up on enough inventory, they will come."... Unless they don't.
In which case the resultant massive wholesale inventory dump will be an epic sight to behold.