China's Weak Inflation, Borrowing Show Economic Recovery Waning
Comment of the Day

May 11 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China's Weak Inflation, Borrowing Show Economic Recovery Waning

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

Separately, data from the People’s Bank of China showed credit and new loans were much worse than expected in April as consumers and businesses curbed their borrowing.

“China’s credit data came in well below estimates, reinforcing the concerns over the sustainability of post-Covid recovery,” said Zhou Hao, chief economist at Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. Overall growth momentum “has been slowing significantly,” he said. 

Expectations of policy easing has been growing, and a “policy rate cut looks imminent in the second quarter,” he added.

China’s economic growth accelerated to a one-year high in the first quarter after pandemic restrictions were dropped, led by stronger consumers spending on travel and shopping. Recent data has been more mixed though, with manufacturing activity contracting in April and imports plunging.

Eoin Treacy's view

China did not engage in the same pandemic spending as many western governments. That ensures inflation was kept under control. Instead they decided to use the pandemic as a means to curtail speculation in the housing sector which was the exact opposite of what happened in other countries. That has helped to keep government bond yields contained and the trend is still lower. 

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