The resurgence of China pessimism

Agree or not, it has returned.  Here is David G. Landry from Foreign Policy:

A recent Foreign Policy piece points out that individuals and firms have made up an increasingly large share of China’s total foreign asset purchases in recent years, from 12 percent in 2011 to nearly 40 percent in 2017, as the People’s Bank of China’s share of total foreign direct investment shrank. It turns out that these new investors are poor asset judges. As their share of China’s portfolio grew, its aggregate returns dwindled. In 2016, the total return on Chinese foreign investment was 0.4 percent, which is dramatically lower than the 4 percent earned by foreign reserves.

And Gabriel Wildau at the FT:

…fixed-asset investment — a core driver of Chinese growth that includes spending on new buildings, machinery and infrastructure — grew at its slowest annual pace since at least 1995 through the first five months of this year. Retail sales, an indicator of consumer demand, also increased at their slowest pace since 2003. China’s currency, meanwhile, hit a six-month low against the dollar this week, while the Shanghai Composite index, the country’s key stock market index, dropped 10 per cent in June. Last weekend, the People’s Bank of China cut the reserve requirement ratio, the amount of cash that banks must hold in reserve at the central bank, freeing up Rmb700bn ($106bn) for new lending and investment. The PBoC insists that monetary policy remains “prudent” but the cut to the RRR is the latest in a series of “ subtle easing” moves in recent months, including other forms of cash injection into the financial system.

…much of the recent slowdown is perceived to be the result of Beijing’s policies. A sharp fall in infrastructure spending by local governments led the drop in fixed-asset investment, as the central government reined in runaway borrowing by local governments.

One way or another, you will be hearing more about this.


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