Is the Chinese Economy Running Out of Steam

John King Fairbank, the father of Chinese studies in America, once described China as a “journalist’s dream and a statistician’s nightmare, with more human drama and fewer verifiable facts per square mile than anywhere else in the world.” These days, the statistician’s dilemma in China extends not simply to the problem of what is true but also to that of what matters. In the era of an ascendant China, every agency and investment bank, every short-seller and risk analyst and brand consultant is ready to offer a prediction on China’s economic future. So how do you separate the noise from the signal?