There is considerable confusion about what is going on in China. An IMF director said that the situation in China cannot be called a crisis and reiterated a prediction of 7 percent growth this year. It is a view that is very much at odds with other measures that suggest no growth at all in manufacturing for perhaps three months.
Meanwhile, China faces a crisis of industrial safety. That is at least the view of those who live near a factory, which is most of the people in China. On Saturday night an explosion leveled a paint factory in Shandong. This disaster was on a smaller scale than the chemical explosion in Tianjin, but reminiscent, with windows shattered in a 1-kilometer radius and the blast felt 5 kilometers away. The series of industrial accidents suggest that factories are under unusual financial pressure leading managers to depart from prudent operating procedures, resulting in more mistakes.