China slowdown

By Andrew Brown of Emerging Capital Partners

Last week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted a further drop in China’s growth to 7.3 per cent in 2014, the lowest figure that the country has experienced in the last 23 years.

China’s continued economic slowdown as it shifts from export-led to consumer-driven growth has prompted speculation as to the knock-on effect on economies that have benefited from China’s rise. Debate has centred on whether many frontier economies, including those of sub-Saharan Africa, are reliant on continued rapid growth in China’s demand for commodities to drive their own economic development. Continue reading »

China may have announced a mini-stimulus to boost growth but it’s unlikely to prevent the world’s second-largest economy from slipping into a technical recession this year. At least that’s the view of economist Diana Choyleva at Lombard Street Research.

Of course, the basic idea that China could indeed contract for two straight quarters relies on one simple assumption: the official numbers aren’t just wrong, they are way, way out of whack with reality. Continue reading »

Inflation below target; slumping exports; growth forecasts down – it’s not been a good week for China data.

The market response? Time to buy! The Shanghai composite index has just closed up 3.2 per cent, having been up 2.2 per cent on Thursday. It’s the best two-day gain since early 2012, according to Bloomberg. Continue reading »

If a company suspends shares once amid fraud accusation, it could be merely unlucky. When it does it again six months later, it starts to look like a trend.

That is the unfortunate situation that Zoomlion, China’s second largest maker of heavy machinery, finds itself in now. Back in January, newspaper offices around the world received an anonymous letter accusing Zoomlion of falsely inflating sales, backed up by 76 pages of purported sales records. Zoomlion rejected the accusations as “false” and “groundless”. Its share price fell more than six per cent when trading resumed. The events of this week are eerily similar. Continue reading »

By Mitul Kotecha of Crédit Agricole.

It was not so long ago when expectations for the Chinese currency, the renminbi, had shifted to a prolonged period of weakness against the US dollar. This corresponded with the view that the Chinese authorities would use their currency as a tool to help cushion the impact of an exports slowdown.

All of this changed in late July from when the RMB began a multi-month period of appreciation at a pace that has astounded many analysts. Continue reading »

Assigning letters to economic trajectories was very much in vogue back in 2009. Would recoveries be ‘V’, ‘W’ or ‘L’ shaped? Now the craze seems to be coming to China.

October’s official PMI data showed that China’s factories are back to growth – just. But analysts disagree about whether this points to a big turnaround. Continue reading »

By Linda Yueh

This week’s flash PMI data suggest the recent weakness in the Chinese economy extends into the fourth quarter. HSBC PMI rose in October at the start of the quarter, but remains below 50 at 49.1. That’s an improvement from September’s 47.9 but is still a sign of contraction.

This is after GDP expanded 7.4 per cent in the third quarter, slower than the government’s 7.5 per cent target. And, consensus forecasts gathered by Bloomberg don’t show much stimulus or easing for the rest of the year. Continue reading »

Have the dark clouds looming over the renminbi finally cleared? On Thursday the Chinese currency hit its highest level against the US dollar since May, breaking through the Rmb6.3 level in the onshore market. Offshore, the currency also rose to a near five-month high.

So, after a brief hiatus, is the renminbi’s appreciation train back on track? Continue reading »

The latest manufacturing data from China showed a contraction suggesting that any rebound expected from piecemeal economic loosening has not arrived. Lex’s Stuart Kirk and Julia Grindell discuss the case for China bulls.

A lot of ink has been spilled of late discussing the global impact of China’s slowing economic growth. But there has been little discussion however about how African economies will be affected.

Now, ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has stepped into the gap with a report published this week. It says, in short,  that the China slow down may be bad for metal exporters, but opportunities should present themselves for African manufacturers. Continue reading »

A modest example on Wednesday of how hard it is to read the current condition of the Chinese economy, not least its banks.

“China Soured Loans Rise for Third Quarter as Economy Slows,” says Bloomberg in the headline on its report on the latest bad loans data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission. “China banks’ Q2 bad loans steady, capital adequacy up,” says Reuters in its headline on exactly the same numbers. Continue reading »

China’s overall GDP figures give reason enough to worry about its economic slowdown (or Chindown). But the story is even more worrying at a local level.

In Dongguan, a manufacturing hub in Guangdong province, GDP growth in the first half of this year hit a three year low. Its expansion of just 2.5 per cent shows the pain China factories are feeling as the engine driving the world’s second biggest economy begins to misfire. Continue reading »

A brighter start to the second half of 2012? The latest purchasing managers’ index for China’s manufacturing sector, as measured by HSBC, moved back closer to the 50 mark – the number that separates expansion from contraction.

China’s flash PMI for July was 49.5, up from 48.2 in June. Does this mean the recent revival measures for the economy are working? Continue reading »

Front page stories about a looming food crisis have particular resonance at the moment for China. Just when Beijing is trying to engineer a soft landing for the economy, and stimulate some growth in the second half of the year, the spectre of price rises is back.

Aside from the usual concerns about the social impact of higher food prices, there is understandable concern that China’s easing may also hit another buffer. Continue reading »

News that Chinese house prices rebounded in June will be welcomed in many quarters. Growth in the second half could get a boost, while it may also help instill a bit more confidence in the general state of the economy.

But for policy makers in Beijing, it provides something of a headache. Continue reading »