China’s precarious balancing act

The Chinese monetary officials have had a rollercoaster ride since the start of the global financial crisis. At the onset of the crisis, the central bank was still in inflation-fighting mode, attempting to break the back of an inflationary spiral that peaked at 8.7% in February 2008. Yet only two quarters after that peak, they were fully immersed in combating what was a very credible threat of deflation induced by a sudden plunge in external demand. This article examines China's response to t