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Bill Evans, Research Analyst at Westpac, suggests that growth in the Chinese economy is expected to slow as consumption and net exports are unable to compensate for the ongoing slowdown in investment.

Key Quotes

“The big uncertainties and risks centre around the Chinese financial system.”

“China realises that it must move away from its growth model based on credit fuelled exports and investment. In particular the role of the financial sector must change from channelling high savings at low cost to strategic sectors, to facilitating China’s economic transformation to a more sustainable model based on services and consumption. But the “old” model has resulted in financial assets growing from 260% of GDP in 2011 to 470% in 2016 (IMF, 2017). The excessive growth (around 30% per annum over the last 10 years) has been in the largely unregulated non-bank sector.”

“President Xi has nominated poverty; pollution and financial leverage as his key “challenges”. The “shadow banking sector” particularly funds property development and speculation; local governments (which explain 80% of infrastructure investment); and commodity speculators. All these users of funds expect excessive returns and can service higher loan payments. The sector is beginning to be squeezed.”

“We are already seeing some evidence of this squeeze on the non-bank sector. Banks are no longer allowed to guarantee wealth management products; entrusted loans (corporates borrowing to lend to other corporates with banks operating as agents) have been banned; rapid growth in short term interbank funding has been slowed; and general funding for wealth management products is being restricted. Growth in the non- bank sector is severely lagging the pace of 2017.”