Posts tagged ‘Australia and New Zealand Banking Group’

13/09/2016

China’s Industrial Output, Retail Sales Accelerate in August – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China’s economy strengthened in August, with a slew of data, from factory production to retail sales, beating estimates Tuesday. The improved performance is a fresh sign that stepped-up government spending and strong property sales are helping to stabilize growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

As for the numbers themselves, as reported by the government, industrial output rose 6.3% last month from a year earlier. Investment in buildings and other fixed assets outside rural households climbed a better-than-expected 8.1% year over year in the first eight months of 2016, while retail sales grew 10.6% in August from a year ago.

Economists generally cheered the numbers, but wondered how long the better times would last. Following are excerpts from economists’ views on the latest data, edited for length and style:Better-than-expected data out of China today raise hopes that policymakers’ efforts to reverse the slide in investment growth are seeing some success. Stronger industrial activity last month appears to have been partly driven by a recovery in investment spending, especially in the state sector. The delayed impact of earlier policy easing means that a stronger second half of this year is likely. The latest evidence of a pick-up suggests that recent concerns that policy easing had failed to provide any noticeable boost to the economy were likely somewhat premature.  Julian Evans-Pritchard, Capital EconomicsToday’s data suggest that the downside risk for third quarter GDP is significantly reduced. Investment in manufacturing industry increased only 3% in Jan-Aug, while investment in services picked up to 11.2%, showing economic rebalancing continues to take place. The uptick in industrial output is consistent with the rebound in the August official manufacturing PMI. However, the divergence of PMI performance between large corporates and small- and medium-size enterprises remains a concern.

Louis Lam and David Qu, ANZ ResearchWe expect investment to remain under pressure for the rest of the year because of slower real estate construction and spare capacity in key sectors. But with industrial profits recovering recently, and investment also up in August, the downward pressure should diminish. Meanwhile, export momentum should improve along with global trade, while we expect consumption to hold up. In all, while further stimulus is necessary to reach the government’s GDP growth target of at least 6.5% this year, the outlook has improved slightly after the August data.  Louis Kuijs, Oxford EconomicsChina needs to nurture an initial economic stabilization with continued fiscal support. Today’s data show economic growth seems to have stabilized a little last month, but it is not on a solid footing yet.  Measures such as tax cuts and increased government spending can not only help spur growth but also help restructure the economy by boosting consumption. Fiscal expenditures rose 10% in August from a year earlier, much faster than July’s 0.3% increase.  Liu Xuezhi, Bank of Communication

Source: Economists React: China’s Industrial Output, Retail Sales Accelerate in August – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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11/03/2015

China to raise retirement age as pressure on pension fund rises | Reuters

China’s pension fund will come under tremendous pressure to break even in coming years and as such, the government needs to gradually raise the official retirement age to salvage the finances, a top official said on Tuesday.

Military delegates arrive for the opening of the annual full session of the National People's Congress, the country's parliament, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing March 5, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said the government will gradually raise the official retirement age, which is as low as 50 for some female workers, but stressed that any policy changes will be phased in over five years.

He did not say when retirement ages will be raised.

Analysts have long warned about China’s state pension crisis and the severe funding shortage, with some estimating that the cash shortfall could rise to as high as nearly $11 trillion in the next 20 years.

Yin said the finances were not as dire for the moment, but warned about challenges ahead.

“The pension fund faces tremendous pressure in terms of breaking even in future,” he told reporters at a news briefing on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s parliament.

The fund’s income stood at 2.3 trillion yuan (243.28 billion pounds) in 2014, exceeding its expenditure of 2 trillion yuan for the year, he said.

But in coming years, the proportion of Chinese over the age of 60 will rise to 39 percent of the population, from 15 percent now, Yin said.

via China to raise retirement age as pressure on pension fund rises | Reuters.

21/01/2015

China’s “new normal” of investment brings new opportunity for win-win – Xinhua | English.news.cn

For the first time in its history, China has become a net capital exporter with outbound direct investment outnumbering foreign direct investment in 2014, presenting new opportunities for win-win cooperation with the rest of the world.

China's "new normal" of investment brings new opportunity for win-win

At the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled for Jan. 21-24 in Davos, Switzerland, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will expound on the Chinese economy‘s “new normal.”

Chinese investors channeled capital into 6,128 overseas firms in 156 countries and regions in 2014, with outbound investment reaching 102.89 billion U.S. dollars, up 14.1 percent from a year earlier, according to a press conference by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Wednesday.

Growth was much faster than the 1.7 percent gain recorded in foreign direct investment, which was 119.6 billion dollars. This is the first time the two-way nominal capital flows have been near a balance.

“If the Chinese firms’ investment through third parties were included, the total ODI volume would reach about 140 billion dollars, which means China is already a net outbound investor,” said Shen Danyang, spokesman with MOC.

Chinese investors are investing in real estate, businesses and other assets overseas while growth at home is slowing. The country registered the slowest expansion pace in 2014 in 24 years, according to the GDP data released Tuesday.

The slowdown comes at a vulnerable time for the world economy — the eurozone is still at risk of another recession, the Abenomics has failed to drag Japan out of the mire, and investors are pulling out of emerging market funds.

Policymakers and investors were not prepared for a reality that after more than three decades on steroids, the world’s second-largest economy has been transitioned to a “new normal” of slower growth.

The market, crazy about speed and figures, seems to have missed the reality that the Chinese economy is healthier under the “new normal” featuring positive trends of stable growth, an optimized structure, enhanced quality and improved social welfare.

China’s sound economic fundamentals have not changed and the government will maintain macro-policies appropriate, Premier Li said during a meeting with Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF on Tuesday.

The improvement of the quality and efficiency of the Chinese economy and its upgrading will make important contributions to maintaining the stability and healthy development of the world economy and finance, Li said.

The Chinese economy, shifting focus to consumption and investment from polluting heavy industry and manufacturing via complex reforms, will continue to function as a vital ballast for the world economy.

Besides, Beijing aims to create an open capital market by pushing ahead with a broad range of financial reforms to allow more foreign investment and encourage Chinese players to invest abroad. The more transparent and efficient allocation of the Chinese capital will have a positive effect on the global market.

In the process, China has proposed or promoted a host of initiatives and plans, such as the initiatives on the Silk Road Economic Zone, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the BRICS Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

It is fair to say that China’s capital export is creating life blood for the global economy to avoid the risk of declining.

In light of financial difficulty faced by Asia in realizing inter-connectivity and mutual access, China has pledged to contribute 40 billion U.S. dollars to setting up a Silk Road Fund to provide financial support for infrastructure construction, resources exploration and industrial cooperation for countries along the “One Belt and One Road.”

It is estimated that in the next decade, China’s outbound investment will total 1,250 billion dollars, giving more impetus to the worlds’ economic growth.

via Spotlight: China’s “new normal” of investment brings new opportunity for win-win – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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