Remember Rail Freight? It's Surging in China
Remember the old "Li Keqiang Index"? It comprised 3 data series and served as an alternative measure for economic activity vs the dubious official GDP statistics. One of those 3 is pictured below (the others are power consumption and loan growth). As highlighted in the latest edition of the Weekly Macro Themes - China Special (VIEW LINK) there has been a big league rebound in Chinese rail freight growth. I think this reflects 3 things: 1. The infrastructure splurge to offset cyclical and structural slowing; 2. Green shoots in real estate and factory investment; and 3. The OBOR. The OBOR or One Belt One Road (VIEW LINK) is an attempt to revive the old silk road and create a series of economic belts. A key part of the OBOR is now up and running - in fact the first freight train from China to London arrived last week (VIEW LINK) . This is a significant positive development in global trade (at a time where most the news is negative!), and will have meaningful implications for China/Eurasia/Europe for a number of years.