China: Rising fears, switching policy gears

1 min

Latest activity indicators suggest slower economic growth in August. USD-denominated export growth decelerated to +9.8% y/y (from +12.2% in July). Imports followed the same path (+20% y/y in August after +27.3% in July). Vehicles sales decreased by -3.8% y/y (after -4% in July) on the back of (i) higher uncertainties for consumers as fears of a trade war intensify and (ii) difficult access to credit for non-urban agents due to the government’s crackdown on peer to peer lending. Looking ahead, signals of a looser economic policy stance are building up. It is clear on the fiscal side with the government announcing measures ranging from tax cuts, support to SMEs and infrastructure spending. On the monetary side, signs of a gradual easing are appearing. Outstanding loans rose by +13.2% y/y in both July and August (up from +12.7% in June). Euler Hermes forecasts China’s GDP to grow by +6.6% this year (down from +6.9 in 2017).