China's economy: It might not be boom, but it ain’t gloom and doom | Business and Economic News | SupChina

China’s economy: It might not be boom, but it ain’t gloom and doom

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In our most recent Red Paper ($25 or free for Access members), we presented ten scenarios for China in 2019 — not predictions, but events that could occur in the Year of the Pig. The first scenario was: “The Chinese economy dramatically outperforms the conventional wisdom,” despite the many undeniable signs of a slowdown.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) dumped a load of data today (in Chinese) that gives credence to this scenario.

  • GDP grew 6.4 percent YoY the first quarter of 2019. Per Bloomberg (porous paywall), this beat “market expectations of 6.3 percent growth,” and ended three quarters of slowdown.
  • Retail sales, which include spending by government, businesses, and households, jumped 8.7 percent in March, which Bloomberg says is “above expectations.”

No sentient person believes the numbers from the NBS without further confirmation, but the International Monetary Fund seems to agree. In the World Economic Outlook report released on April 16, the IMF projects growth of 6.3 percent this year — higher than the previous forecast of 6.2 percent.

Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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