China reported better than expected GDP growth of 8.9 percent for the Q4 of 2011, and 9.2 for the year. However, economists are concerned the the robust growth won’t last, and expect a slowdown to approximately 8% in 2012.
A decline in construction starts could foreshadow the expected slowdown. Credit has been tightened and property investment and sales have been hurt. The Chinese government recently replaced guidelines on tax sheltered housing to make it easier for homebuyers to purchase new properties.