China’s economy faces a triple shock

Power cuts, the pandemic and the property slowdown are slowing China's economy down.

Can anything stop rising inflation? asks Daniel Moss on Bloomberg. How about a Chinese slowdown? The world’s second-biggest economy grew at a record 18.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of the year but has slowed sharply. GDP rose by an annual 4.9% in the third quarter, the slowest pace in a year and down from the 7.9% rate recorded between April and June, says Katie Silver for the BBC. Soaring commodity prices have seen many provinces impose electricity rationing, which is weighing on industries such as cement, steel and aluminium smelting.  

China’s benchmark CSI 300 stock index is down by 6.5% since the start of the year. A crackdown on debt in the property sector – highlighted by the woes of developer Evergrande – has also hit construction activity, says Martin Strydom in The Times. “New construction starts slumped in September for a sixth straight month, the longest series of monthly declines since 2015.” 

China’s slowdown has been “more pronounced than anticipated”, says Moss. Lower Chinese demand could cool the rally in many commodity prices. It won’t necessarily be deflationary, however: closed factories will reduce the global supply of essential goods. Factory-gate prices, a measure of the prices manufacturers charge wholesalers, grew at their “fastest pace since records began in 1996” last month, says Strydom. 

China has been contending with a “triple shock” from power cuts, the pandemic and the property slowdown, says The Economist. A Covid-19 “cluster that began in Nanjing in July, prompted strict, localised lockdowns [and] airlines were operating at less than half their full capacity in August”. Year-on-year growth could slow further “to 4% or below” in the final quarter of this year.

Recommended

Coronavirus has had less of an impact on UK property than you might think
Property

Coronavirus has had less of an impact on UK property than you might think

The UK property market looked to have been turned upside-down as people abandoned city flats to work from more spacious homes in the country, while of…
29 Nov 2021
Index-linked bonds could prove a costly inflation hedge
Government bonds

Index-linked bonds could prove a costly inflation hedge

Index-linked bonds are designed to keep pace with inflation, but at these prices you are locking in a loss
29 Nov 2021
Three safe bets on the growing online gambling sector
Share tips

Three safe bets on the growing online gambling sector

Professional investor Aaron Fischer, creator of the Fischer Sports Betting and iGaming ETF, picks three of his favourite online gambling stocks.
29 Nov 2021
Why Britain’s supermarket chains should take over Europe
Retail stocks

Why Britain’s supermarket chains should take over Europe

Britain’s supermarkets should not sit back and wait for a takeover bid, says Matthew Lynn. They should launch their own for the continent’s chains.
28 Nov 2021

Most Popular

Don’t worry about the global population explosion – it’s unlikely to happen
Investment strategy

Don’t worry about the global population explosion – it’s unlikely to happen

One of the many things we are taught to worry about is the fast-rising global population. But in fact, says Merryn Somerset Webb, the opposite is tru…
15 Nov 2021
Four of the best new investment trust listings
Investment trusts

Four of the best new investment trust listings

Diversify your portfolio and benefit from rising dividends with these four new investment trusts coming to the market soon.
15 Nov 2021
Is it time to remortgage your home?
Mortgages

Is it time to remortgage your home?

Banks are already starting to prepare for higher interest rates, says Alex Rankine. Should you, too?
23 Nov 2021