lørdag 18. april 2020

China GDP: Bleak outlook for economic recovery post-virus

China put its economy into a self-induced coma to fight the virus. Now it's slowly getting back to work, but don't expect that to save the rest of us. It won't be enough as the latest numbers show us. China's GDP shrank by 6.8% for the first three months of the year - its first year-on-year contraction in decades, in fact since records started. It's a sign of how hard it will be to restart all our economies.

First off, China's economic data always comes with the caveat: don't believe what you read. Independent economists always say the figures are much lower than what the government says. But this year's first-quarter economic data was always going to be bad. They confirm that the lockdown exacted unavoidable significant pain on the economy. But it doesn't end here. Almost every economist I've spoken to says that things will get worse before they get better.

So if you were hoping that any growth momentum in the coming quarters will help the rest of us - think again.The World Bank says in the base case scenario, China will see growth fall to 2% this year from 6% last year - and if things get worse, it would see growth fall to 0.1%. That's basically no growth.