Mapping decoupling

China and countries that align more closely with it than with the US together account for around half of the world’s population. But the China bloc is far smaller economically than the US bloc and far more dependent on the rival bloc as a source both of imports and of export demand. Our decoupling map illustrates the economic challenge that division from the West would pose for China.
Julian Evans-Pritchard Senior China Economist
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China Economic Outlook

Cyclical trough, tepid rebound

China will be buffeted in the first half of 2022 by COVID outbreaks and a further slowdown in property construction. Policy support should improve the picture later in the year, but mounting structural headwinds will limit the extent of any rebound. Drop-In (08:00 GMT/16:00 HKT, 27th Jan): China Outlook – Cyclical trough, tepid rebound. Join Mark Williams and Julian Evans-Pritchard for a discussion about China’s economic and policy outlook this year. Register here.

26 January 2022

China Activity Monitor

Starting 2022 on the back foot

Our China Activity Proxy (CAP) suggests that China’s economy was still struggling to regain momentum at the end of last year amid troubles in the property sector and recurrent COVID outbreaks which continue to depress service sector activity. We think these headwinds will continue to hold back activity during the first half of this year.

24 January 2022

China Economics Weekly

Some relief for property developers

This week’s cut to policy rates is one of a succession of recent moves designed to stabilize residential property sales. Developers have also been given a little more breathing room in terms of their access to financing. These steps may not feed into a recovery in project starts, given the poor structural outlook for property demand. But they improve the immediate outlook for many developers. Meanwhile, Tianjin’s Omicron outbreak appears to be under control and COVID cases nationally have dropped to a two-month low. That appears to be encouraging slightly more people to make the trip home for Lunar New Year than a year ago. We’ll be discussing our expectations for policy, zero-COVID and the economy on Thursday (08:00 GMT/16:00 HKT) in an online briefing timed to coincide with publication of our next Outlook report. Please register here to join us and let us know in advance of any questions you’d like us to address.  

21 January 2022

More from Julian Evans-Pritchard

China Economics Update

A property tax could make up for fewer land sales

Local governments in China are far less reliant on land sales as a source of revenue than is often claimed. While slowing real estate development will create a funding gap, it could be more than offset with a modest property tax.

5 October 2021

China Economics Weekly

Power supply steady, heavy industry under pressure

Early data suggest that recent electricity rationing may be the result of power companies being unable to keep up with the strength of demand, rather than a substantial pullback in electricity supply. If so, then sharp falls in output across the whole of industry have probably been avoided. But the energy-intensive sectors that have been the focus of power restrictions are clearly under pressure.

1 October 2021

China Chart Book

Power shortages another blow to global supply chains

We still don’t have enough data to judge the extent of the disruption to China’s factory output from power rationing with much certainty. But with supply chains already stretched, even a modest hit to output, which producers downstream might normally cover by dipping into inventories, could affect firms’ ability to meet orders. It’s therefore concerning that the number of ships idling outside Chinese ports has jumped again in recent weeks. The initial catalyst for the spike was short-lived disruption to port operations from Typhoon Chanthu which hit China’s east coast on 12th But port congestion remaining very elevated more than two weeks later may be a sign that power rationing along the supply chain is interfering with ports’ ability to ship orders. Disruption is likely to worsen in the short-run given that the current shortage of thermal coal needed to meet power demand won’t be resolved overnight.

30 September 2021
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