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Rising risks may threaten China’s steady GDP slowdown

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Subject

China growth outlook.

Significance

The statement accompanying the second-quarter national accounts that the National Bureau of Statistics released on July 14 describe a “complex and grave” situation amid rising “uncertainties". However, although the second quarter growth was the weakest since 1992 and export-orientated activity was weak, domestic spending is improving. Retail sales rose to a 15-month high of 9.9% year-on-year in June, fixed investment gained 5.8% in January-June, up from 5.6% in January-May and the services purchasing managers index continues to expand solidly, close to its historic average.

Impacts

  • The US conflict could help productivity by raising the urgency of the policy drive to support tech, innovation and higher quality growth.
  • The ultimate impact of tariffs depends on substitution choices and the sectoral and regional composition of future tariffs or concessions.
  • A property market collapse is unlikely but faster demographic ageing and slower growth and urbanisation will hit demand in the longer term.

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