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PBOC ramps up easing but more still to come

The People’s Bank (PBOC) has taken yet another step to help banks and borrowers weather the ongoing economic weakness and is preparing to lower interest rates further in the coming months.
Julian Evans-Pritchard Senior China Economist
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China Economics Weekly

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China’s previous COVID outbreaks offer a few clues to how quickly the economy will rebound this time. Even if further large-scale lockdowns are avoided, activity is unlikely to have recovered in full until near the end of the year, with the service sector slower to get back on its feet than industry.
Asia Drop-In (26th May, 0900 BST/16:00 SGT): Can Asia remain the low inflation exception? Join our 20-minute briefing about the region’s price and policy outlooks. Register here.

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The April data were even weaker than expected and are consistent with a sharp contraction in economic activity. Provided that the virus situation continues to improve, the economy should begin to rebound this month. But the recovery is likely to be tepid.

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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.

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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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