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ECONOMY: Slows down
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Slows down

By Morgan Brady

BT 201810 Economy 01放缓

中国是世界上最大的出口国,上个月(8月)的贸易顺差较上月有所减少。出口同比增长9.8%,而8月份进口增长20%。继7月份增长12.2%后,出口增长放缓,而进口增长也从上个月的27.3%放缓。 8月份中国对世界贸易顺差为279.1亿美元,略低于7月份的280.5亿美元顺差。盈余低于经济学家306亿美元的预测。




由于消费者物价指数增长2.3%,显出国内对消费品的需求依然强劲,8月份通货膨胀达到6个月以来的新高。 7月份,该指数显示为2.1%。食品价格上涨1.7%,非食品价格上涨2.5%。即使在这一加速水平之后,通涨仍低于政府的目标,因为它将目标通涨率定在3%。

另一方面,生产者价格指数更能反映出与美国紧张关系的增加。 8月份生产者价格指数较上年上涨4.1%。 7月,增长了4.6%。 8月原材料价格比上年上涨7.8%。 7月份,增加了9%。







BT 201810 Economy 02China, the world’s biggest exporter, has posted a smaller surplus with the world last month (August) than the previous month, albeit it is only a slight difference. Exports increased by 9.8% from a year before, whereas imports grew by 20% in August from the previous year. Growth in exports had slowed down following a 12.2% increase in July, while growth in imports also slowed down from 27.3% in the previous month. China’s trade surplus with the world was $27.91 billion in August, slightly smaller than the surplus in July at $28.05 billion. The surplus was below economists’ forecasts at $30.6 billion.

However, China’s surplus with America showed a record high at $31.05 billion (an increase over $28.09 billion in July). This has been achieved even after two rounds of tariffs by the Trump administration on Chinese products worth $50 billion, which China matched with equal tariffs against US products. This record high surplus increases the probability of a third round of tariffs by the Trump administration, which has been diligent and has also said that it was ready to introduce tariffs on more Chinese goods worth $267 billion, besides the levies on Chinese good worth $200 billion that the administration has been working on.

In the US, around 60 industry groups have united in a coalition and decided to launch a multi-million-dollar campaign for free trade. The group is called Americans for free trade and it will target republican members in five states, namely Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee. The aim of the group is to put pressure on the Trump administration to drop the tariffs and adopt a less protectionist approach towards international trade. Success of this group remains to be seen. In case its efforts bear fruit, China’s trade surplus with America can increase even further. Tariffs have been hurting American producers such as California co-op and increasing the price of equipment that farmers need, and many in America would like to see free trade.

Weaker Producer Inflation

Inflation reached a 6-month record high in August, as consumer price index showed a growth of 2.3%, which shows that domestic demand for consumer items, remains strong. In July, the index showed a reading of 2.1%. Food prices increased by 1.7% and price of non-food items increased by 2.5%. And even after this acceleration, inflation remains below government ambitions as it places the target inflation rate at 3%.

On the other hand, the producer price index was more reflective of the increased tension with the United States, as it slowed down. The PPI rose 4.1% in August from the previous year. In July, it had increased by 4.6%. Prices of raw materials increased by 7.8% in August from the previous year. In July, they had increased by 9%.

Despite this declaration, prices could get a boost from increased spending on infrastructure, according to one economist, especially because growth is a priority for the Chinese government rather than price pressures.

This support for growth is vital, as China showed a growth of 6.7 in the second quarter, and many analysts are concerned that the trade spat with the United States could further slow down the Chinese economy. For now, the Chinese economy remains on a growth path and Trump’s policies are not bearing any fruit.

BT 201810 Economy 03Lending From Banks Slowed Down

Banks have been cautious about increasing their lending. To meet their financing requirements, companies issued more debt, and as a result, loans from banks have slowed down. In total, aggregate financing stood at 1.52 trillion Yuan ($221 billion) in August, according to the People’s Bank of China. At the same time, the shadow banking sector continued to be on the decline, and the appetite for risk remains weak.

This follows a crack down by the government on debt to mitigate risk, which was followed by a loosening of monetary policy to stimulate growth following concerns related to trade tensions.

BT 201810 Economy 04Growth Expectations

Headline growth was near record lows in August, and the retail sales were at levels as low as those witnessed in 2003.

Sales of automobiles dropped for the second straight month in August, and fixed asset investment is expected to have increased by 5.5% from the same period in the previous year, as they remain at the same level as July’s lows. Retail sales are expected to have increased by 8.8% and industrial output is expected to have grown by 6%.

BT 201810 Economy 05Conclusion

President Trump’s policies are proving to be ineffective thus far. His tariffs failed to stem back the growing Chinese surplus with the US. Producer price index declined, and China’s trade surplus with the world also decreased. Growth abroad and in the domestic market is softening. Many sectors are slowing down to touch their lowest levels in many years, which may be a cause of worry. Economists believe that weakness in the Chinese economy could render it more vulnerable to the trade spat. Hopefully, measures by the government will turn things back in the right direction.

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