Hao Zhou

Hao Zhou

Hao Zhou currently serves as a senior economist (emerging markets) with Commerzbank. He covers North Asia economic and markets research.

Latest from Hao Zhou

The View | What China’s grim property market prospects mean for the economy

Measures meant to support the market do not appear to have taken effect, and recent news of property defaults shows headwinds remain strong. The importance of land sales, which have been sluggish, suggest the property sector will be a significant drag on economic growth.

Measures meant to support the market do not appear to have taken effect, and recent news of property defaults shows headwinds remain strong. The importance of land sales, which have been sluggish, suggest the property sector will be a significant drag on economic growth.

1 Mar 2022 - 4:30PM
Macroscope | Will China’s latest monetary policy easing reinvigorate the economy? Markets remain wary

While January data suggests policy easing in China has prompted a rise in bank lending, the figures are distorted by a tendency to issue loans at the start of the year. Investors remain concerned about the overall policy direction following last year’s regulatory crackdown.

While January data suggests policy easing in China has prompted a rise in bank lending, the figures are distorted by a tendency to issue loans at the start of the year. Investors remain concerned about the overall policy direction following last year’s regulatory crackdown.

17 Feb 2022 - 3:30AM
The View | Despite rate cuts, aggressive Chinese monetary policy easing is not on the cards

With a property slump and pandemic-induced weak consumption dragging down the economy, the PBOC has limited room for manoeuvre. Policymakers will not want to undermine the policy goal of curbing property speculation.

With a property slump and pandemic-induced weak consumption dragging down the economy, the PBOC has limited room for manoeuvre. Policymakers will not want to undermine the policy goal of curbing property speculation.

5 Jan 2022 - 6:45AM
The View | Why China is warning of yuan speculation when the currency looks so stable

The main concern is of the systemic risk of proprietary carry trades and the massive leveraging at banks and financial firms looking to profit from higher yuan returns.

The main concern is of the systemic risk of proprietary carry trades and the massive leveraging at banks and financial firms looking to profit from higher yuan returns.

1 Dec 2021 - 10:45PM
The View | Why Beijing will endure property tax’s drag on housing market

The pursuit of ‘common prosperity’ means a further housing market slowdown is not a deal-breaker. Some fundamental changes are deemed more critical for the country’s future and will better position it amid a shifting global landscape.

The pursuit of ‘common prosperity’ means a further housing market slowdown is not a deal-breaker. Some fundamental changes are deemed more critical for the country’s future and will better position it amid a shifting global landscape.

3 Nov 2021 - 5:01AM
The View | China’s energy crunch and the high economic costs of going green

China’s coal supply has been constrained by carbon emission controls and tensions with Australia. Beijing may have to consider relaxing its control over electricity tariffs and reviewing its green policy.

China’s coal supply has been constrained by carbon emission controls and tensions with Australia. Beijing may have to consider relaxing its control over electricity tariffs and reviewing its green policy.

6 Oct 2021 - 6:45AM
The View | What to expect as China’s economy transitions towards common prosperity

While it is too early to say that China has completely shifted its growth strategy, the policy of ‘cross-cyclical adjustment’ suggests the market must prepare for more short-term volatility.

While it is too early to say that China has completely shifted its growth strategy, the policy of ‘cross-cyclical adjustment’ suggests the market must prepare for more short-term volatility.

1 Sep 2021 - 9:15AM
The View | Why China is unlikely to cut interest rates despite economic headwinds

Monetary policy will ease to help small businesses and prevent an economic slump. But a rate cut is a significant and blanket move likely to feed inflation and the housing bubble.

Monetary policy will ease to help small businesses and prevent an economic slump. But a rate cut is a significant and blanket move likely to feed inflation and the housing bubble.

3 Aug 2021 - 4:30PM
The View | Can China boost its birth rate with education and housing reforms?

Two measures announced by the Ministry of Education indicate that the government is trying to address the reasons young couples are reluctant to have more children. But given the complexity of the related issues, tackling the demographic crisis will not be straightforward.

Two measures announced by the Ministry of Education indicate that the government is trying to address the reasons young couples are reluctant to have more children. But given the complexity of the related issues, tackling the demographic crisis will not be straightforward.

7 Jul 2021 - 1:08AM
The View | Why China’s three-child policy is unlikely to improve the gloomy long-term economic outlook

The latest census has revealed a significant slowdown in the population growth rate, fertility rate and the number of migrant workers. Given that productivity growth has also been declining, the prospects for the economy remain grim.

The latest census has revealed a significant slowdown in the population growth rate, fertility rate and the number of migrant workers. Given that productivity growth has also been declining, the prospects for the economy remain grim.

2 Jun 2021 - 2:13AM
The View | Don’t look to US Treasuries’ rally to understand the ‘sticky’ yields in Chinese government bond market

Rather than US Fed moves, it’s the uncertainties on China’s economic, policy and inflation fronts that explain the lack of direction in the Chinese government bond market. Amid slowing growth momentum, there is room for Chinese bond yields to trend lower.

Rather than US Fed moves, it’s the uncertainties on China’s economic, policy and inflation fronts that explain the lack of direction in the Chinese government bond market. Amid slowing growth momentum, there is room for Chinese bond yields to trend lower.

4 May 2021 - 10:46PM
The View | Why China’s A-share market is on such a volatile, bumpy ride

Falling company earnings expectation, a credit crunch, geopolitical tensions and pressure from rising US bond yields are a few factors. Beijing will want to address the volatility but investors should be aware that the A-share market remains complex.

Falling company earnings expectation, a credit crunch, geopolitical tensions and pressure from rising US bond yields are a few factors. Beijing will want to address the volatility but investors should be aware that the A-share market remains complex.

6 Apr 2021 - 4:30PM
The View | China’s ‘two sessions’: how Beijing is moving past GDP targets and towards social balance

To pursue the ‘dual circulation’ strategy in the coming years, or even decades, China needs a bigger consumer base. Beijing is also seriously looking to reduce income inequality to achieve sustainable long-term growth.

To pursue the ‘dual circulation’ strategy in the coming years, or even decades, China needs a bigger consumer base. Beijing is also seriously looking to reduce income inequality to achieve sustainable long-term growth.

3 Mar 2021 - 6:45AM
The View | Why the PBOC is keeping an eye on asset price inflation in China

A warning of the risk of asset bubbles and Beijing’s recent net liquidity withdrawal are signals to the market that, while the authorities won’t make a sudden U-turn on pledged policy support, they also won’t tolerate unchecked credit growth.

A warning of the risk of asset bubbles and Beijing’s recent net liquidity withdrawal are signals to the market that, while the authorities won’t make a sudden U-turn on pledged policy support, they also won’t tolerate unchecked credit growth.

2 Feb 2021 - 5:30PM
Macroscope | China’s antitrust crusade against tech sector signals new policy direction

While it’s clear from the Central Economic Work Conference there would be no sudden turn in overall policy, the antitrust measures underline Beijing’s bottom line of preventing systemic risk.

While it’s clear from the Central Economic Work Conference there would be no sudden turn in overall policy, the antitrust measures underline Beijing’s bottom line of preventing systemic risk.

5 Jan 2021 - 9:38AM
The View | Why the People’s Bank of China is unlikely to raise interest rates next year

On the domestic front, the Chinese economy is not out of the woods and there is also the risk of disinflation. From a global perspective, loose monetary policy in the West would result in yuan appreciation were the PBOC to raise rates.

On the domestic front, the Chinese economy is not out of the woods and there is also the risk of disinflation. From a global perspective, loose monetary policy in the West would result in yuan appreciation were the PBOC to raise rates.

2 Dec 2020 - 3:46AM
The View | How the coronavirus and US-China conflict are driving Beijing’s domestic focus in the new five-year plan

China has moved away from its ‘reform and opening up’ strategy and turned to domestic development with an emphasis on self-reliance. The shifting geopolitical landscape and uncertainty over consumer demand post pandemic suggest a bumpy road ahead.

China has moved away from its ‘reform and opening up’ strategy and turned to domestic development with an emphasis on self-reliance. The shifting geopolitical landscape and uncertainty over consumer demand post pandemic suggest a bumpy road ahead.

4 Nov 2020 - 4:00AM
The View | China’s new economic ‘dual circulation’ strategy may not just be inward-looking, but also a pivot to Asia

Amid a challenging geopolitical environment, it is unsurprising that China is looking to bolster its domestic market, but it is unlikely to completely turn inward. While decoupling from the West, it is likely to expand regional cooperation.

Amid a challenging geopolitical environment, it is unsurprising that China is looking to bolster its domestic market, but it is unlikely to completely turn inward. While decoupling from the West, it is likely to expand regional cooperation.

7 Oct 2020 - 4:18AM
The View | Why China is asking banks to sacrifice profits and tightening property sector controls

With limited policy room and a deeply leveraged economy, China’s central bank is pushing forward with new policy thinking, implementing targeted measures in specific sectors.

With limited policy room and a deeply leveraged economy, China’s central bank is pushing forward with new policy thinking, implementing targeted measures in specific sectors.

2 Sep 2020 - 3:30AM
The View | What China’s pivot towards economic self-sufficiency means

As global headwinds grow, China has turned its attention inward to focus on domestically driven economic growth. This will come at the expense of efficiency, but it’s a price Beijing is willing to pay.

As global headwinds grow, China has turned its attention inward to focus on domestically driven economic growth. This will come at the expense of efficiency, but it’s a price Beijing is willing to pay.

5 Aug 2020 - 5:25AM
The View | Beijing shows how coronavirus’ impact on the economy can be contained

Beijing authorities responded quickly to the outbreak of a new wave of infections with aggressive mass testing and a partial lockdown, shoring up public confidence.

Beijing authorities responded quickly to the outbreak of a new wave of infections with aggressive mass testing and a partial lockdown, shoring up public confidence.

1 Jul 2020 - 6:08AM
The View | China’s coronavirus stimulus is geared towards economic survival, but no more

At the close of the NPC annual meeting, Premier Li Keqiang made it clear that China will defy market hopes for large-scale stimulus in favour of targeted support to help the economy ‘survive’

At the close of the NPC annual meeting, Premier Li Keqiang made it clear that China will defy market hopes for large-scale stimulus in favour of targeted support to help the economy ‘survive’

2 Jun 2020 - 10:19PM
The View | How soon will economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic? Look to China for answers

Going by China’s experience, it could take countries over three months after lockdown restrictions are eased to get their economies back on track. Economic activity could return to normal levels by the last quarter of 2020.

Going by China’s experience, it could take countries over three months after lockdown restrictions are eased to get their economies back on track. Economic activity could return to normal levels by the last quarter of 2020.

6 May 2020 - 9:34AM
The View | China’s coronavirus-driven supply shock has eased, but it is bracing for a drop in demand

As the domestic job market has softened and external demand from the US and UK is expected to slow down, more fiscal stimulus should be in the offing. While policies to support the auto sector have been launched, easing of curbs on the property sector looks unlikely.

As the domestic job market has softened and external demand from the US and UK is expected to slow down, more fiscal stimulus should be in the offing. While policies to support the auto sector have been launched, easing of curbs on the property sector looks unlikely.

1 Apr 2020 - 12:03PM
Macroscope | China’s mulling of a ‘surprise’ deposit rate cut suggests a need to shore up coronavirus-hit economy

A cut in the sidelined official one-year deposit rate, unchanged since 2015, is unlikely to push down the cost of loans for battered companies. But the central bank’s hint that it is considering the move signals more policy measures may be required.

A cut in the sidelined official one-year deposit rate, unchanged since 2015, is unlikely to push down the cost of loans for battered companies. But the central bank’s hint that it is considering the move signals more policy measures may be required.

5 Mar 2020 - 9:33PM
The View | Three reasons China cannot count on urbanisation to boost consumption and bolster its economy

China is looking to increase domestic consumption from rapid urbanisation to spur economic growth. But an ageing population, and local government and household borrowing complicate the picture.

China is looking to increase domestic consumption from rapid urbanisation to spur economic growth. But an ageing population, and local government and household borrowing complicate the picture.

15 Feb 2020 - 12:29PM
The View | Why a delay to the US-China interim trade deal is the best possible outcome

Neither Xi nor Trump has run out of cards to play to secure the best possible deal for his side, but each will be careful to avoid scuppering the negotiations. More time spent ironing out the details will be time well spent.

Neither Xi nor Trump has run out of cards to play to secure the best possible deal for his side, but each will be careful to avoid scuppering the negotiations. More time spent ironing out the details will be time well spent.

5 Dec 2019 - 4:06AM
The View | With the US-China trade war likely to drag on, are Beijing’s economic growth targets still valid? Maybe not

Markets Markets believe certain growth levels need to be maintained in China’s quest to become a ‘moderately prosperous society’ and, ultimately, a superpower. But, given the trade war and changing external circumstances, missing targets may be the new norm.

Markets Markets believe certain growth levels need to be maintained in China’s quest to become a ‘moderately prosperous society’ and, ultimately, a superpower. But, given the trade war and changing external circumstances, missing targets may be the new norm.

6 Nov 2019 - 3:20AM
Opinion | As China fights to win US trade war, modern factories are now its weapon of choice

Trump’s trade war may be spurring China’s growth strategy, and was probably the reason for the delayed fourth plenum. A modern manufacturing sector seems likely to top the agenda for policymakers, given comments from President Xi and moves to channel capital away from the property market.

Trump’s trade war may be spurring China’s growth strategy, and was probably the reason for the delayed fourth plenum. A modern manufacturing sector seems likely to top the agenda for policymakers, given comments from President Xi and moves to channel capital away from the property market.

2 Oct 2019 - 3:05AM
The View | China is tightening and the US is easing, but both show signs of digging in for a long trade war

China pushes ahead with deleveraging and tightening standards to avoid systemic risks, while the US seeks stimulus. These approaches appear opposite, but both are about girding up to maintain an advantage in the trade war.

China pushes ahead with deleveraging and tightening standards to avoid systemic risks, while the US seeks stimulus. These approaches appear opposite, but both are about girding up to maintain an advantage in the trade war.

4 Sep 2019 - 5:37AM