Thursday, March 05, 2009

China's stimulus 

During our conference last week one speaker mentioned that China is using consumption vouchers to create stimulus. Chinese citizens save a lot, so handing them vouchers that cannot be saved and that have an expiration date was seen to help local merchants. Some vouchers go towards domestic vacations. One of my colleagues passed along that in Taiwan, where the vouchers are also being used, one county has used a lottery to induce more consumption; a four-year-old has won the use of a private island for the summer.

Counties elsewhere in Taiwan have offered cars, houses and other prizes to encourage locals to spend consumer vouchers worth T$3,600 ($103) that the government gave to every citizen in January to encourage spending to help boost the sagging economy.

Penghu, which comprises 64 islands, is known for its beautiful beaches and water sports.

One place is giving discounts for using the Taiwanese discount dollars. I haven't figured out why you'd get a discount. Maybe because they're out of towners. Details of the Taiwanese program are here.

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