China lendMar12.pngLatest data confirms the growth slowdown now underway in China:

• Rmb bank lending (purple column) is down 8% year to date versus 2011
• The leading indicator (red line) for the economy fell further

Bank lending has been the main growth engine for the economy since 2009. But it led to major inflation problems, particularly on food prices, and a housing bubble. So the government has little choice. It has to slow things down, or risk more social unrest.

This slowdown is now being confirmed by the OECD’s leading indicator. It is well below the 100 level, which divides slowdown from expansion.

Western financial analysts continue to wait for another major stimulus programme. But as the blog has argued, their wait may be a long one. Last week’s purge of Bo Xilai shows that China’s leadership have more important issues on their mind at the moment.