CHINA - Grappling with Falling Prices

Arno Froese

As the rest of the world grapples with rising living costs, China is facing the opposite problem: falling prices.

In July, the world’s second-largest economy officially slipped into deflation for the first time in two years as consumer prices fell 0.3 percent. Prices had already flatlined for much of 2023, bucking the global trend of spiking prices for everything from energy to food.

While lower prices might sound appealing to the average consumer, economists view deflation as a bad sign for the economy.

China has slipped into deflation before, but economists are more concerned about the fall in prices this time round. The last time prices fell, in early 2021, millions of people were under lockdown and factories were shut due to COVID restrictions.

The souring outlook comes as the Chinese economy could badly do with a jolt amid mounting challenges, including a record low birth rate, high levels of local government debt, a flagging real estate market, and high youth unemployment.

China’s economic travails have led some observers to recall the struggles faced by Japan in the early 1990s, when the collapse of a massive asset bubble resulted in a decades-long cycle of deflation and stagnant growth., 21 August 2023

Arno's Commentary

When reading the entire article, one notices that a certain amount of inflation is actually good for the economy. But as the article states, this is not unprecedented. Japan experienced it in the early 1990s. Europe too had its time of deflation between 2008-2009, and the USA in 2009 and 2015.

Is there any Biblical significance? We don’t think so, because the Bible speaks of extreme prosperity as the most notable end-time sign. The prophet Ezekiel proclaimed: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49). In the end, when the Church of Laodicea is mentioned, we read: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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