Not much is putting a smile on the faces of Shanxi coal mine owners or their workers these days. The coal-rich province has run into a sharp economic slowdown, punishment for its overreliance on resources.
Shanxi now languishes near the bottom of the mainland GDP growth table. It still managed 5.5 percent growth in the first quarter but provincial capital Taiyuan came to a grinding halt. The city’s first quarter GDP growth was 0.1 percent, down from 12 percent a year earlier.
The problem is that the coal sector’s woes are spilling over into other parts of the economy, sending some financiers bust, breaking the credit chain and shrinking the local property market.
It’s a long way from the days when countless column inches were filled with stories of Shanxi mining tuhao — or nouveau riches — and their appetite for luxury sport cars and watches. Now the coverage of them is more about the rich going bankrupt, committing suicide or fleeing their creditors.
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