Image credit: @croshane.
There was much hemming and hawing last month over the sudden spate of articles by prominent expats along the lines of Why I’m Leaving China (And Why You Should be Upset to Lose Me Because I’m Awesome). Hell, The China Daily Show even provided a handy guide to writing your own. However, whilst many may feel that privileged white men deciding to move someplace different isn’t exactly news, Sober Look, a financial and markets data-analysis blog, has another take on the matter.
Besides some of the reasons specific to China, expats leaving a nation can be a leading indicator of weaker economic growth. For example the number of expats in Japan apparently also declined in the 90s, although exact numbers are difficult to pinpoint.
Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism points out that “expat departures are a lagging indicator, so if this is indeed a trend, it says that foreigners on the ground see that the risk/reward prospects for China have changed and are acting accordingly.”