Weak economic figures, a plunging stock market and the depreciating Chinese yuan have raised concerns globally about China's economy, but Michael Bloomberg doesn't seem worried.
Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and former New York City mayor, had an unusual reason for his optimism: the many smiling faces in Chinese cities.
"One of the things I do when I'm in a city outside of New York (is that) I always look out of the car windows to see if the people walking down the streets are smiling," he said.
"You see a lot of smiling faces here. Very few people are dour and look depressed. Most people here are happy, gung-ho. They have an enthusiasm," Bloomberg told Xinhua in a recent interview in Beijing.
China's economy has slowed significantly in the past two years to what is officially called the "new normal." Annual growth rates have fallen from 10 percent to the current 7 percent.
Adding to that pressure is a stock market rout, with the key Shanghai market index falling more than 38 percent from its peak of 5,178 points in June to 3,210 at close on Monday, and a sudden depreciation of the yuan in mid-August.
"I suppose it's normal that people will look at it and say, 'Oh, is this the beginning of the end?' or 'Is this the beginning of a bull market?'" Bloomberg said.
He said that in the longer term, China's economy is still growing, and small fluctuations are natural, given the impressive progress and length of growth.
"China is a civilization with 5,000 years of history and you're worried about two months? Seriously, you can't worry about the short term," he said.
Bloomberg said that there is still enormous potential in China for a number of reasons, including a population of 1.3 billion, a huge amount of resources, educated workers, and a strong work ethic.