Against consensus: China’s economy in 2019 might be okay

Business & Technology

Speaking to the gathered worthies of Davos, China’s Vice President Wáng Qíshān 王岐山 today expressed confidence in China’s economy. Reuters reports:

“There will be a lot of uncertainties in 2019, but China’s economy will continue to achieve sustainable growth,” Wang told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Speed does matter. But what really matters is the quality and efficiency of our economic development,” he said.

China does not see its economic expansionary cycle coming to an end, Wang added, seeking to dispel market concerns that faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs could spark a major slowdown ahead.

Well, Wang would say that, wouldn’t he? But I’ve recently heard similar views from a number of people who tend not to be wrong. Today’s news brought some other reasons you may want to reconsider joining the growing consensus that China’s economy is headed for gloom and doom:

  • Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble posted quarterly results: There was no slowdown in China. CFO Jon Moeller said that “the company is ‘fairly confident’ about growth in China in the following quarter,” according to CNBC.
  • “Yes, China’s 6.6 percent growth in 2018 is its slowest in nearly 3 decades,” tweeted Economist correspondent Simon Rabinovitch. “But given the size of its economy, that represents about $1.2 trillion of additional demand, nearly twice as much as it generated with 14 percent growth in 2007.”
  • The government is taking action — from stimulus spending to monetary policies and tax cuts. (Caixin has a roundup of problems with the economy and government measures to tackle them.)
  • “Still the world’s best consumer story.” This is what Investment Strategist for Matthews Asia Andy Rothman is still calling China.