The Asian recovery
The good news? Global demand is rebounding. The unexpected news? It's not coming from the rich countries. Howard Schneider explains:
"We have seen demand rebound, but it is very much supported by emerging countries: China, India, Indonesia," said Masanori Kudo, senior vice president at Showa Denko, a Japanese conglomerate. Its Singapore-made hard-drive components are shipped to computer makers in such places as Taiwan for final assembly, an example of how production has been integrated across the region.
The addition of rising Asian consumer demand, the IMF reported recently, marks a historic turn.
"This is the first time Asia is leading a global recovery," the IMF wrote in a recent report, with growth based not just on exports but also on "resilient domestic demand" and a strong surge in investment.
It is, of course, a good thing that there are other countries able to stimulate global demand right now. The problem is that these countries aren't demanding the more high-tech goods that we produce. That's why their rapid development is a good thing, not a bad one, for American consumers. Our politicians like to talk ominously about China "catching up," but if China does catch up, that means they'll buy a lot more of our stuff.
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