There is Something Rotten in China

One metric I look at fairly often for various countries is the relationship between the performance of stocks vs. bonds. The idea is straightforward enough: when stocks are outperforming bonds, it tends to be associated with a growing economy. When bonds are outperforming stocks, it is a tell that there is some sort of negative dynamic going on.

Why do I bring this up? In the US, stocks—represented by the SPY ETF—have just made a new high relative to the TLT ETF (which represents long-term US Treasury bonds). This would suggest that despite all the angst over inflation, the debt ceiling, and other issues, investors seem to taking a positive perspective.

iShares S and P 500 ETF

This contrasts with China. In China, stocks have underperformed government bonds by about 50% since the beginning of 2021. This suggests there could be something rotten going on underneath the surface of the Chinese economy. Debt issues, housing issues, demographic issues, and geopolitical issues all could be weighing on sentiment toward Chinese equities and growth.

CSI 300 Relative to 10-Year Gov't Yield