It should be noted that the country released ”generally dire economic data” in the first two months of 2012, 2013 and 2014, Andrew Batson, economist at GaveKal, points out. But this year’s slump has persisted even after China’s central bank’s recent flurry of moves to free up cash.

So why didn’t more cash in the system stoke investment and overall confidence in the economy? Companies are in worse financial straits and less confident in an economic rebound, says Batson. “The problem with China’s ‘new normal’ is that no one knows what is normal anymore,” he writes,”and uncertainty and financial stress end up having a real impact on activity.”

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