Chart of the week: tracking Chinese growth by satellite

China’s official data is notoriously unreliable, so investors use their own gauges to measure the economy. Enter the China Satellite Manufacturing Index. A company called SpaceKnow monitors more than 6,000 industrial facilities across China by satellite to track manufacturing activity. Data from the 2.2 million observation points are distilled into the index. The indicator has worked well, WirtschaftsWoche notes. It depicted the slump in 2008/09 as the world stopped buying Chinese exports, the rebound, the growth scare of 2015/16 and the subsequent upswing.


“A quick guide to new issues: do not buy into an initial public offering if most of the capital raised is going out of the business, or if it replaces existing debt (because the capital has already left). Do not buy if private equity is selling.

“Do not believe any forward-looking statements, because if the prospects really were that good, the vendors would wait and get a higher price. Do not buy any share that has been listed for less than a year. You will miss some bargains, but you will avoid many more disappointments. Leave it to the professionals to lose other people’s money.”

Neil Collins, Financial Times

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