Nate Taplin


Nate TaplinNate Taplin covers China, global macro and the commodities complex for GaveKal Dragonomics, an independent global economics research house based in Hong Kong. Nate has worked in greater China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, for over three years and holds a Masters in international economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors with honours in international development from Brown University. Nate’s work on China has been frequently cited in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times and the news wires. Nate currently lives in Hong Kong.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Industrial Rebalancing is Already Here, But Can it Continue?
Author: Nate Taplin

In mid-2012, as China’s economy decelerated, growth in electricity production – traditionally a good proxy for the health of industry – diverged strongly on the downside from official measures of industrial value added. While many analysts interpreted this incongruence as a sign of official data manipulation, detailed output and electricity consumption data tell a different story. Variation in Chinese electricity production since 2008 has been close to an exact function of output growth in a handful of heavy industrial sectors including metals, cement and chemicals, rather than industry as a whole. The underperformance of these electricity-intensive, but relatively low value-added sectors in Q2 and Q3 2012 largely explains the divergence between electricity output and industrial growth that confounded analysts last year. Moreover, the declining profitability of electricity-intensive sectors relative to consumer goods is an initial indication of ‘rebalancing’ in the Chinese industrial economy, which may herald changing data patterns in the future.

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