Chinese Economy

Trade still key to China's economy despite attempts at rebalancing

Imports declined 2.4 per cent year on year in August and rebounded 7 per cent last month, in a sign that demand is far from stable.

Despite the emphasis on consumption, economists expect trade to remain important to the mainland's economy, doubling by 2020 from the current 4 trillion yuan (HK$5.06 trillion) even though the current trade outlook remains shaky.

Wednesday, 22 October, 2014, 5:21am

Decline in foreign reserves fuels talk of outflows in China

Mainland banks issued 857.2 billion yuan worth of new yuan loans last month after credit supply tumbled in July. Photo: Bloomberg

A rare decline in the mainland's foreign-exchange reserves has triggered speculation about capital outflows, while a rebound in new yuan loans extended by mainland banks suggests an easing of domestic monetary conditions.

17 Oct 2014 - 5:07am

Chinese companies facing capital spending crunch

Slower spending by firms underscores the challenges of containing an economic slowdown set to be its worst in 24 years. Photo: AFP

Mainland companies are on a pace to cut capital spending by around 7 per cent this year, the biggest annual reduction since the global financial crisis, deepening an economic chill.

17 Oct 2014 - 4:34am

China's foreign trade upside may put brakes on need for massive stimulus

Mainland exports jumped 15.3 per cent last month while imports gained 7 per cent, with both figures beating market expectations. Photo: AFP

Surprisingly rapid growth in mainland exports and imports last month has improved the odds for a recovery in the world's second-largest economy in the final quarter of the year.

14 Oct 2014 - 4:39am 1 comment

World Bank trims growth forecasts for developing East Asia and China

The World Bank said growth in China was likely to slow to 7.4 per cent in 2014 and 7.2 per cent in 2015. Photo: Reuters

The Washington-based lender expects the developing East Asia and Pacific region to grow 6.9 per cent this year and next, down from the 7.1 per cent rate it had previously forecast for both years.

7 Oct 2014 - 5:14am 1 comment

Beijing's economic growth targets are too high, IMF says

Declining efficiency of investment, a significant buildup of debt, income inequality and environmental costs are threatening growth prospects, the IMF said. Photo: Reuters

The International Monetary Fund has urged Beijing to lower its growth target next year but forecasts China is likely to meet its annual target of "around 7.5 per cent" this year.

1 Aug 2014 - 4:30am 4 comments

China consumer sentiment edges up but still subdued

Mainland consumers appear more convinced that actions taken by Beijing will help support the economy over the long term. Photo: Xinhua

Consumer sentiment on the mainland ticked up this month as expectations for long-term business conditions improved, thanks to Beijing's pro-growth policies, a Westpac MNI survey found.

31 Jul 2014 - 5:13am 3 comments

China has yet to walk the talk on economic reform

Many Chinese farmers may have to wait six more years for stronger ownership rights. Photo: Xinhua

The mainland's economic statistics provoke a lot of debate. This is a bit odd, since Premier Li Keqiang seems to have previously settled the matter.

Not only did Li famously dismiss Chinese national income accounting as "man-made", he demanded reform like "cutting a wrist".

29 Jul 2014 - 1:25am 1 comment

Political crackdown has accompanied China's slowing growth

People's Liberation Army honour guards march beside Tiananmen Square the day before the 25th anniversary of June 4. Photo: EPA

The 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square tragedy got a surprising amount of global coverage, in sharp contrast to the enforced silence on the subject on the mainland. It is a reminder of another contrast between political and economic coverage of the country.

10 Jun 2014 - 12:43am 1 comment

Growth in China service sector eases as business sentiment weakens, HSBC PMI shows

Taken together, the PMI releases signal that China’s economic outlook remains uncertain, even if a mild recovery may be at hand. Photo: Xinhua

Growth in the mainland's services sector retreated last month to a four-month low, a private survey showed, contrasting with other data that had raised hopes that the world's second-largest economy may have steadied.

6 Jun 2014 - 12:01am 12 comments

China’s services sector grows apace, mirroring rebound in manufacturing

A retailer in Zhejiang province. Domestic demand remains sluggish in China despite a pick-up in global activity. Photo: Xinhua

China's services sector grew at its fastest pace in six months last month as new orders rebounded, an official survey showed, reinforcing hopes that the economy may be steadying after a tumultuous few months.

4 Jun 2014 - 2:48am

China factory activity healthiest in five months, HSBC flash PMI shows

New export orders, a proxy for foreign demand, showed the biggest turnaround. Photo: Reuters

China's factory sector turned in its best performance in five months this month, a preliminary HSBC survey showed yesterday, though overall manufacturing growth still contracted slightly, suggesting the outlook remains murky.

23 May 2014 - 12:16am

Xi Jinping's 'new normal' with Chinese characteristics

President Xi Jinping said last week the mainland must "adapt to the new normal condition" in economic growth. Photo: Xinhua

The world needs to get ready for a new normal with Chinese characteristics. Reacting to yet more evidence that China's growth is moderating quickly, President Xi Jinping more or less told us last weekend to get used to it.

15 May 2014 - 12:33am

State sector is China's secret sauce

China's state enterprises, with their high tolerance for low returns and their very long time horizon, have been able to build massive infrastructure in a relatively short time.

It is too early to say if China has achieved economic success, even after 36 years of consistently high growth.

14 May 2014 - 8:03am 3 comments

Growth dips in China services sector, HSBC PMI shows

Jobseekers attend a jobs fair in Beijing. Employment growth in the nation's services industry fell to a seven-month low last month. Photo: AFP

Expansion in China's services industry slowed slightly last month, with employment growth slipping to a seven-month low, a private survey showed yesterday.

9 May 2014 - 7:15pm