Kina har fået bugt med coronakrisen, men der er endnu ikke set et stærkt comeback i økonomien. Det store fald i væksten i 1. kvartal er ikke overraskende. Det er derimod, at forbruget og serviceindustrien kæmper for at komme op. Det er et advarselstegn for USA og Europa, hvor forbruget og servicesektoren har langt større vægt end i Kina. Tager det længere tid end forventet at få gang i økonomien?
Uddrag fra Fidelity/Marketwatch:
China’s GDP Warning to the West
U.S. stocks are back in a bull market, as investors bet that the coronavirus pandemic in America is near its peak and the economy will make a strong comeback. In China, meanwhile, the health crisis has already peaked–but that strong comeback isn’t really in evidence.
China on Friday posted its first quarterly fall in economic growth (https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-set-to-report- plunge-in-first-quarter-gdp-11587086697)on record: The economy was 6.8% smaller last quarter than a year before, according to official figures. Most worrying, consumption and services are struggling to recover due to heavy job losses and continuing worries about a secondary viral outbreak. That bodes ill for the U.S. economy, which is even more dependent on consumer spending and services than is China.
The news wasn’t all bad: Most official indicators declined less in March than in January and February. Most importantly, China’s property market is stabilizing (https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-is-back-to-work-but-the-specter- of-covid-19-still-haunts-the-economy-11585821108). Prices rose again modestly last month after flirting with declines in February, and average daily transaction volumes across 30 large cities are back near the level of recent years, according to Goldman Sachs.
In time, looser monetary policy should also help: China’s central bank on Wednesday cut the rate on its key medium- term lending facility by 0.2 percentage point to its lowest level ever, and credit growth in March accelerated sharply. Containing downside risks (https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-export-bump-wont-last-but-stimulus-bump-might- 11586857484)in property is key to keeping China’s shaky banking system afloat.
But the news on consumption more broadly isn’t good. March data showed a significant rebound in industry–the year- over-year decline in growth narrowed to just 1%, from 13% in January and February. But the recovery in consumer spending was far less obvious. Retail sales were still down almost 16% on the year, only marginally better than the 20% fall in January and February.
Recent survey data also show that consumers remain cautious. An early-April online survey by Morgan Stanley of 2,041 Chinese consumers in 19 provinces found that only 25% of respondents planned to leave the house for leisure or discretionary spending, as opposed to necessities–double early-March levels but still very low.
That makes sense given both the scale of lost income and continuing worries about a secondary outbreak. Nearly half a million Chinese businesses closed their doors in the first quarter, according to the South China Morning Post. Several million workers have already lost their jobs, and the coming hit to exports as the U.S. and European economies stall could put another four million to six million Chinese out of work, according to consultancy Gavekal Dragonomics.
The Chinese economy is clawing its way back, and eventually the U.S.’s will too. The road will likely be longer and slower, however, than many investors yet seem to appreciate.