In Downgraded China, Echoes of Japan’s Boom and Bust

WSJ/Andrew Peaple & Peter Landers/05-24-17

Some economists have long warned that China faces the same fate as Japan, with a debt-fueled boom followed by years of stagnation as the country works its way through the hangover.

After Moody’s decision to downgrade China on Wednesday, the two countries at least now have sovereign credit ratings, at A1, to match.

…Concerns about China’s economy voiced by the likes of Moody’s have some echoes of the problems Japan faced by the early 1990s. As with Japan, heavy capital-spending levels have been central to China’s growth—investment accounted for nearly half of China’s annual growth by 2010, up from a third in 1990.

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