Vaccine impact, tech crackdown, renminbi

The coming week’s retail sales data are likely to signal that consumer spending, the part of China’s post-lockdown recovery that has lagged the most, is back to health. China is a rare example of a country that wouldn’t see major economic benefits, at least initially, from an effective coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, the past week has brought further evidence of campaigns to rein in China’s tech giants and to constrain the autonomy that underpins Hong Kong’s success as an international financial centre.   We’ll be holding a pair of webinars on Tuesday to discuss the near-term outlook, Five-Year Plan, US-China relations and long-run prospects, all in 45 minutes. We hope you can join us. Sign up here.
Mark Williams Chief Asia 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

More from Mark Williams

China Economics Weekly

Changing views on China, export demand peaking

While China’s Communist Party was celebrating its achievements at its official centenary this week, a global survey revealed a sharp decline in popular enthusiasm for economic engagement with China in developed economies. That suggests that if governments in the West push for decoupling, they’ll find the public is receptive.

2 July 2021

Emerging Markets Economics Update

China is about to flood EMs with vaccines

By September, China could be in a position to export 340mn vaccines doses each month – more than most regions of the world have administered in total so far. China’s vaccines are less effective than others, but have been found to suppress outbreaks where they have been used if a high enough share of a population is vaccinated. Large-scale exports from China could therefore give a significant boost to the prospects of many EMs now struggling to vaccinate because of a lack of vaccine supply.

17 June 2021

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
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