For the first time since 1998 more money leaves China than enters it

MAINLAND China can now boast over 1m wealthy citizens (qianwan fuweng) each with over 10m yuan ($1.6m), says the latest edition of the “Hurun Report”, which keeps track of China’s capitalist high-roaders. But the mainland seems to be having trouble keeping them. According to the report, published on July 31st, more than 16% of China’s rich have already emigrated, or handed in immigration papers for another country, while 44% intend to do so soon.

But only 28% of those asked expressed great confidence in the prospects over the next two years, down from 54% in last year’s report.

Perhaps those rich Chinese aren’t just investing. If this is a sign of future (bad) trends in China, it could mean trouble for the world economy. It could also mean a big impact here in the US and elsewhere; the Chinese tend to be fierce competitors (and these are some of the best and brightest).