Some worrying data coming out of China. Electricity output slumped last month, up a mere 0.7% over 2011. State investment in railways is down 44%, road building is down 2.7% and 8 out of the country’s 10 largest ship builders have not received a single new order in 2012. Housing sales were down 25% during the 1st QTR and home construction was down 28.3% last month. This last figure is a real concern because housing employs 10% of the Chinese workforce while land sales make up 70% of local authority tax revenue and 30% of central government revenue. Loans are also down significantly too. Of course this could all be planned in the sense of it being meant to slow the economy down, but it’s worth watching very closely.
India and Russia are having much the same trouble too in terms of industrial output, lending and bad loans. The big concern here is not just the BRICs going bust, but the BRIC wall of global credit collapsing before the rest of the indebted world recovers from the worst of the recession. If you have any spare cash stick it under the mattress now.