Further slowdown in 2020 with coronavirus a new threat

Cooling property construction is likely to weigh on economic activity in the coming quarters. But with external demand starting to stabilise, the slowdown should be gradual, as long as the coronavirus outbreak is contained.
Mark Williams Chief Asia Economist
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China Economics Weekly

Capacity constraints put a ceiling on export outlook

In the long-run, the global spread of highly-transmissible coronavirus strains may make China’s zero-COVID stance untenable but the immediate response to concerns about B.1.1.529  is more likely to be a doubling down on the strategy, with rolling local lockdowns in response to any local cases and continued tight border controls. China’s exporters could benefit from another wave of lockdown-induced demand elsewhere in the world. But capacity limits, particularly at ports, potentially exacerbated by further port shutdowns, may limit their ability to meet orders.

26 November 2021

China Activity Monitor

Service sector recovery remains lacklustre

Our China Activity Proxy (CAP) shows that growth ticked up last month as energy shortages eased and the service sector continued to recover from virus disruptions over the summer. But the rebound remains lacklustre, with output still well below June’s peak. And while the outlook for home sales and exports has brightened in recent weeks, cooling construction activity still looks set to weigh on growth next year.

24 November 2021

China Economics Update

LPR on hold but wider easing already underway

The Loan Prime Rate (LPR) remained unchanged for the 19th consecutive month today. But officials are already easing policy in other ways, such as by relaxing constraints on mortgage lending. The PBOC has also pushed down bank funding costs via recent deposit rate reforms and July’s RRR cut, paving the way for future moves to nudge down lending rates using LPR cuts.

22 November 2021

More from Mark Williams

Emerging Asia Economics Update

Taiwan: severe capacity constraints but few inflation fears

Taiwan’s economy is struggling with severe capacity constraints but there are few signs in recent data that this is fuelling broad-based wage or price pressure. That’s a stark contrast with the US, and should provide some reassurance to central bankers not just in Taipei but also further afield that economic recoveries, even if strong, won’t necessarily trigger inflation.

10 June 2021

China Economics Weekly

PBOC’s turn to target currency manipulators

After regulators last week pledged to root speculators out from the domestic commodity market, this week it was the turn of the People’s Bank to tackle manipulation in the currency market, which it abhors. We suspect though that, as with commodity prices, it will be fundamental forces rather than these campaigns that cause the renminbi to weaken over coming months.

28 May 2021

China Economics Focus

The implications for China and the world of eCNY

In this Focus we detail what is known about how China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) will operate, when it will launch, what the People’s Bank is trying to achieve, and whether it will succeed. One conclusion is that the launch of eCNY will do nothing to relax the constraints that have prevented the renminbi being widely adopted in international trade or as a reserve currency. Indeed, we argue that the People’s Bank will have to compel eCNY’s use for it even to take off within China.

27 May 2021
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