Asia and Pacific > Macao Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China

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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights China’s continued transition to sustainable growth, with progress on many fronts. Growth slowed to 6.9 percent in 2015 and is projected to moderate to 6.6 percent in 2016 owing to slower private investment and weak external demand. The economy is advancing on many dimensions of rebalancing, particularly switching from industry to services and from investment to consumption. But other aspects are lagging, such as strengthening state-owned enterprises and financial governance and containing rapid credit growth. The current account surplus is projected to decline to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2016 as imports increase and the services deficit widens with continued outbound tourism.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that China is transitioning to a new normal, with slower-yet-safer, more sustainable growth. Growth in 2014 fell to 7.4 percent and, in 2015, is forecast to slow further to 6.8 percent on the back of slower investment, especially in real estate. The labor market has remained resilient despite slower growth, as the economy pivots toward the more labor-intensive service sector. Considerable progress has been made in external rebalancing. The current account surplus fell to 2.1 percent in 2014 from the peak of about 10 percent in 2007, and the renminbi has appreciated by about 10 percent since 2014 in real effective terms. Further progress has also been made on domestic rebalancing.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
KEY ISSUES Context. After three decades of remarkable growth, the economy has been slowing. Much of the slowdown has been structural, reflecting the natural convergence process and waning dividends from past reforms; weak global growth has also contributed. Moreover, since the global financial crisis, growth has relied too much on investment and credit, which is not sustainable and has created rising vulnerabilities. Growth was 7.7 percent in 2013, and is expected to slow to around 7½ percent this year and decline further over the medium term. Focus. The pattern of growth since the global financial crisis is not sustainable and has resulted in rising vulnerabilities. The discussions focused on assessing the risks posed by the continued build-up of vulnerabilities; reforms to unleash new, sustainable engines of growth and reduce vulnerabilities; and how to best manage aggregate demand in this context, as growth is slowing yet risks are still rising. A key takeaway is that to secure a safer development path, accommodative policies need to be carefully unwound, accompanied by decisive implementation of the announced reform agenda to promote rebalancing. The result will be somewhat slower but safer growth in the near term, with the significant long-run benefit of securing more inclusive, environment-friendly, and sustainable growth. Risks. Credit and ‘shadow banking,’ local government finances, and the corporate sector— particularly real estate—are the key, and interlinked, areas of rising vulnerability. In the near term, the risk of a hard landing is still considered low as the government has the capacity to combat potential shocks. However, without a change in the pattern of growth, the hard-landing risk continues to rise and is assessed to be medium-likely over the medium term. Reform agenda. The authorities have announced a comprehensive and ambitious blueprint of reforms. Successful implementation should achieve the desired transformation of the economy, but will also be challenging. Demand management. Reining in credit growth, local government borrowing, and investment will address the risks, but also slow growth. Macro support should be calibrated to allow needed adjustments to take place, while preventing growth from slowing too much. Scenarios and spillovers. With faster adjustment and reform implementation, growth will be somewhat lower in the near term, with moderate spillovers for trading partners. However, in the medium term, income and consumption will both be higher—a result that is good for China and good for the global economy.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Mr. Cem Karacadag and Mr. Paul J. Heytens
This paper examines the leverage, efficiency, and debt-repayment capacity of the Chinese enterprise sector using aggregate and firm level data. The cash coverage of interest expense, in particular, is used as a bridge between enterprise finances and banks' asset quality in order to develop insights on banking soundness. The interest coverage analysis corroborates the high level of nonperforming loans in the financial system. This underscores the urgency of hardening budget constraints on state-owned enterprises and stemming the flow of new bad loans by accelerating ongoing structural reforms.