The 14th Five-Year Plan

China’s new policy blueprint seeks above all to promote a large and hi-tech manufacturing sector, both as a defence against decoupling by the West and as a source of productivity gains. Policymakers are pinning their hopes on rapid domestic innovation to leapfrog foreign rivals and to reduce the environmental costs of growth. But if rapid technological gains don’t materialise, they will face tricky trade-offs between their targets for economic growth, the environment and greater self-sufficiency.  
Julian Evans-Pritchard Senior China Economist
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China Economics Update

PBOC takes a bigger bite of the easing apple

The People’s Bank (PBOC) has stepped up its efforts to loosen monetary conditions, following up last month’s reduction to the Loan Prime Rate (LPR) with cuts to the rates at which it lends to banks. Another LPR cut this month is now a given and we expect additional easing measures further ahead.

17 January 2022

China Data Response

China GDP (Q4), Activity & Spending (Dec.)

Official GDP growth beat expectations last quarter and in q/q terms was the strongest since late 2020. But we are sceptical that this reflects the reality on the ground – our China Activity Proxy suggests output was largely stagnant last quarter. With the property sector still struggling and virus disruptions becoming more frequent, economic momentum is likely to remain weak throughout much of this year.

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China Economics Weekly

Omicron arrives

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Long Run Update

Employment already declining at pace

Revisions to the historic data following the recent census show that China’s population barely grew last year and that employment is already contracting faster than previously understood, having peaked in 2014 rather than 2017. The silver-lining, however, is that the new data suggest that productivity growth has slowed by less and that there is greater scope to counter demographic headwinds by boosting participation rates over the coming decades.

1 July 2021

China Data Response

China Caixin Manufacturing PMI (Jun.)

The Caixin manufacturing index published today dropped back last month and adds to signs from the official PMI released yesterday that momentum in industry is waning. The surveys point to a levelling off in demand and easing of price pressures, even as supply shortages continue to constrain output.

1 July 2021

China Chart Book

No, China isn’t exporting inflation

Some believe that China is adding to global inflationary pressure. The opposite is closer to the truth: the large increase in China’s trade surplus over the past year signals that supply from China has risen far more than demand. Global consumer goods prices are rising in spite of China, not because of it. Admittedly, China’s rapid, investment-intensive recovery has been an important factor in the rise in global commodity prices over the past year – this is the key reason why China’s producer price inflation hit a 12-year high last month. But China’s contribution to the surge in global demand for consumer durables has been relatively small – unlike in many major economies, retail spending on goods in China is not particularly strong. And while dollar prices of goods from China have risen over the past year, these price hikes have generally failed to keep up with the pace of renminbi appreciation. In renminbi terms, export prices have been falling unusually fast.

30 June 2021
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