Ch News

More slowing noises.

Jury still out on possible hard landing (GDP under 6%), and elements of the ongoing inflation fight sustains downside risks as well. The cuts in deficit spending and state lending hurt the economy, as the higher interest rates from the bank of china keep upward prices on inflation.

And lots of miguided comments below as well.

Public investment is entirely sustainable, for just one example, but because they believe it’s not, they seem to be trying to move away from it. For example, it’s perfectly ‘sustainable’ (moral hazard issues, efficiencies, etc. aside) to build housing and give it away for no charge.

Analysis: China unlikely to cool investment as its growth engine


In spite of global clouds, most economists still expect China to grow well above 8 percent in 2012. That is in line with the market refrain that China won’t have a hard landing. A Reuters poll in mid-July showed economists think 2012 growth will be 8.8 percent, well above Beijing’s 7 percent growth target.

Some of the 4 trillion yuan ($626 billion) stimulus package announced in 2008 was squandered on ill-advised projects and economists now worry that a sizable fraction of loans to local governments won’t be repaid.

Banks may be wary of extending more large loans, making it difficult for local governments to invest their way to growth in the future.

Last week alone, China halted new railway projects and cut its building target for public housing by 20 percent to 8 million units for 2012, from 10 million.

Yet, economists say little has changed in reality.

China’s bullet trains may be a beguiling metaphor for its rapid urbanization, but rail investment accounted for just a paltry 1.9 percent of total fixed asset investment in the first six months of this year.

If anything, some economists argue Beijing is most likely to increase investment in housing if it decides to stimulate growth in coming months.

Soaring property prices have put homes out of reach for many ordinary Chinese, and that has become a source of public ire. Keenly aware of that, Beijing wants to build more public homes to keep them affordable.

And with the real estate market accounting for a quarter of total investment in the first half of this year, China could get decent bang for its buck if it ramps up spending in the sector.

Judging by Beijing’s recent remarks on monetary policy, it appears that China is ready to pause its 10-month policy tightening campaign as rain clouds gather over the world economy.

Alongside wide expectations that China’s inflation is near its peak after hitting a three-year high of 6.5 percent in July, many analysts think Beijing is ready to support economic growth if needed.

To be sure, Beijing says it wants to cure China of its penchant for investment-driven growth. Under its broad five-year economic plan starting from 2011, it envisions a fairer Chinese economy where consumption climbs on rising incomes.

But the grand plan drew skepticism when it was unveiled as it was short on details on how changes would come about.

Many analysts have said that Chinese consumers cannot pull their weight as big spenders because the bulk of national income goes to the state instead of workers. A flimsy social safety net encourages high saving rates.