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Bank Lending & Broad Credit (Jul.)

The latest slowdown in lending highlights the need for further monetary easing if policymakers are to succeed in putting a floor beneath growth.
Julian Evans-Pritchard Senior China Economist
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China Chart Book

Domestic weakness frees up ports for exports

The Omicron virus wave in China appears to have eased global shipping bottlenecks rather than worsened them as many had feared. Firms were able to re-route shipments through other ports to avoid disruption in Shanghai. And weaker goods demand domestically freed up port capacity that could be used for export shipments. In the past three months, container throughput for foreign trade has risen at its fastest pace in over a year. There has probably been some movement of vessels from domestic to foreign routes too. Together, the increase in export-directed capacity helps explain why freight rates out of China have fallen sharply. Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

28 June 2022

China Activity Monitor

CAP: Output to stagnate in 2022 despite latest bounce

Our China Activity Proxy suggests that around half of the drop in output during the recent virus wave reversed in May. This recovery looks to have continued in June. But a lot of damage has already been done and we now doubt that China’s economy will grow at all this year. Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

22 June 2022

China Economics Weekly

GDP target unattainable, shipping disruption

China’s statistics office is adept at massaging GDP data. But with many of the indicators that feed into GDP showing year-on-year contractions in April and May, even it won’t be able to deliver published growth at the rate the government wants this year. Meanwhile, the latest port throughput data suggest that Shanghai’s lockdown had a much smaller impact on shipping than commonly supposed.

17 June 2022

More from Julian Evans-Pritchard

China Economics Weekly

US-China rivalry: industrial policy, vaccine diplomacy

The US Senate took a leaf out of China’s industrial policy playbook this week by passing USICA, a bill that earmarks $190bn in federal funding for strategic sectors and bears striking similarities with Beijing’s controversial Made in China 2025 plan. But despite some overlap, China’s industrial policies clearly remain far broader in scope and run a much greater risk of hindering rather than helping productivity growth. Another burgeoning area of US-China competition is vaccine diplomacy. Here China has the clear lead, at least in terms of the quantity of vaccine exports. And the ongoing surge in domestic production and vaccination rates means that China could soon flood the world with doses on a far larger scale than other countries, including the US.

11 June 2021

China Data Response

China Bank Lending & Broad Credit (May)

Broad credit growth continued to slide in May and is now at its slowest since February last year. Evidence of policy tightening weighing on borrowing is clearest in bank loan growth which, apart from during last year’s lockdown, is at its weakest in nearly two decades. This will become a headwind to the economy in the second half of the year.

10 June 2021

China Data Response

China Consumer & Producer Prices (May)

Producer price inflation continued to surge and reached its highest level since September 2008 last month, on the back of a further rise in global commodity prices. That said, there are some signs in the data that upward pressure on the factory-gate prices of consumer electronics may be starting to ease. And while consumer price inflation continued to rise, it remains relatively contained.

9 June 2021
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