søndag 2. januar 2022

China’s big challenge for 2022: Getting people to spend money

Sluggish consumer spending has dragged down China’s economy since the pandemic, with little relief in sight for 2022. Along with the property market, consumption is one of two areas economists are most concerned about in their China growth outlook. Consumer spending is also the sector that businesses and investors have bet on as they expect China’s middle class spending power to grow in coming years.

Top leaders in Beijing warned at an economic planning meeting this month that growth faces “triple pressure” from shrinking demand, supply shocks and weakening expectations. “The core problem of these ‘triple pressures’ is still a weakening of demand or insufficient demand,” Wang Jun, chief economist at Zhongyuan Bank, said in Mandarin, translated by CNBC. “If demand improves, then expectations will improve.”

The main reason why economic development cannot be sustained is reflected in the weakening of demand, he said, noting in particular the negative impact of the pandemic on people’s incomes. He also pointed to drags on demand from reduced local government spending on infrastructure projects and regulation on after-school tutoring businesses that have affected employment.