China powers up

Proof positive that Keynesian fiscal stimulus works: Chinese electricity production just hit an all-time high

Published September 11, 2009 3:43PM (EDT)

Back in the spring, commentators predisposed to be skeptical of claims that China's stimulus had catalyzed an economic recovery made much of the fact that Chinese electricity generation was contracting. Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith seemed particularly invested in harping on this point, noting in May that a fall in power generation suggested that "talk of recovery is premature" and then in June that " China's Declining Electricity Consumption Conflicts With Party Line Growth Story." Those of us who had been goggling at how quickly China appeared to be escaping the global economic slump felt appropriately abashed.

However. Bloomberg News reports today that Chinese power generation set a new all-time high in August.

China's power generation rose to a record in August after the domestic economic recovery spurred demand from businesses and factories.

Power output increased for a third month, gaining 9.3 percent to 344.3 million megawatt-hours, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today. Power generation had climbed 4.8 percent in July and 5 percent in June after contracting for three straight months.

The Chicago schoolers can try, if they like, to claim that Obama's stimulus isn't working in the U.S. But what's their line on China?

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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