GDP (Q1), Activity & Spending (Mar.)

GDP contracted in Q1 for the first time since China began publishing quarterly data in 1992, though we suspect that the slump in output was even deeper than officials claim. The monthly data suggest that activity improved in March but remained weak even as efforts to contain COVID-19 were relaxed.
Julian Evans-Pritchard Senior China Economist
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China Data Response

China GDP (Q3), Activity & Spending (Sep.)

In q/q terms, official GDP growth slowed to a crawl last quarter. And our China Activity Proxy points to a sharp contraction. Although some of the recent weakness in services is now reversing, industry and construction appear on the cusp of a deeper downturn.

18 October 2021

China Economics Weekly

Property downturn deepens, triggering easing

Supply-side disruptions mean there is an unusual amount of uncertainty about China’s recent economic performance. But one thing that’s clear is that the property sector downturn has gathered pace in recent weeks. Policymakers have responded by allowing banks to step up mortgage lending. Other easing measures are likely to follow, including rate cuts. But limits on developer financing are here to stay.

15 October 2021

China Data Response

China Consumer & Producer Prices (Sep.)

Producer price inflation reached a new high last month due to the surge in global coal prices. There are few signs that this is feeding through to higher output prices of consumer goods, however. The overall inflation outlook remains benign, with PPI inflation likely to drop back around the turn of the year and CPI inflation set to remain muted for the foreseeable future.

14 October 2021

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China Data Response

China Activity & Spending (May)

Headline growth on all the key indicators dropped back last month. But after adjusting for base effects the picture was more mixed, with investment slowing, industrial output growth holding steady and retail sales accelerating. While there is still scope for a further recovery in consumption, we think investment and exports are set to cool over the coming months.

16 June 2021

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
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