- New economic data
- China’s dependence on imports
- Package delivery services ordered to recycle
- Birth rate drops to record low
- No tickets for Olympics
- Xi opens virtual WEF session
- Profile: Peng Jingtang – new PLA chief for Hong Kong
The statistics office in Beijing published the latest economic figures on Monday: the year 2021 achieved a plus of 8.1 percent. That sounds impressive and even exceeds the targets set by the government in Beijing. However, Finn Mayer-Kuckuk took a closer look at the data and found: Be it in the real estate sector, infrastructure, or the automotive market – China’s economy is under pressure from multiple fronts. Thus, cutting its key interest rate at the beginning of the week was a wise decision by the Chinese central bank.
China is the world’s leading exporter. That is no secret, especially in Germany, which had lost this title to the People’s Republic. What is far less known, however, is the fact that China is also heavily dependent on imports. Christiane Kuehl analyzes how strongly China depends on preliminary technical products and raw materials. For example, China covers about 80 percent of its demand for soybeans, iron ore, copper, and bauxite from abroad. And no other country in the world imports this many semiconductors. This is a thorn in the side of the government in Beijing. It has long been looking hard to find ways to rid itself of this dependence.
So far, recycling in China has been a business model for the lower class. For a few yuan, traders buy paper, empty plastic bottles, and other garbage from consumers and bring it on their cargo bikes to recycling plants outside the city at the end of each day. But that is about to change. Delivery services in particular are to contribute more to environmental protection. Beijing wants 90 percent of delivered packages to be made from environmentally certified packaging materials. Ning Wang has taken a close look at what the delivery industry has been up to in terms of recycling. The result: Business is booming, but environmental protection is not exactly a top priority.
I hope you enjoy reading today’s issue!
China’s economy: high growth with great concerns
China’s growth has once again exceeded its own targets. Economic output rose by 8.1 percent in 2021. This was announced by the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing on Monday. Premier Li Keqiang had announced “over six percent” last March. With slow real estate growth and a protracted pandemic, analysts expect a much lower figure for the current year. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences expects 5.5 percent for 2022. The Chinese central bank shares this assessment.
Another reason for lower growth expectations lies in the statistics themselves. Last year’s high value was influenced by the Covid slump two years ago. The distribution over the year therefore also showed a sharply declining curve. At the beginning of the year, there was an initial post-Covid effect with a growth of 18.3 percent. The last quarter of the year then only saw growth of just under four percent.
The growth figures for the first months of 2021 relate precisely to the horror quarter of the first Covid outbreak at the beginning of 2020. By contrast, the economic data towards the end of the year had then again to be compared to a healthy situation. This also applies to the first quarter of the current year. So the markets will have to get used to low single-digit figures again.
- Real Estate
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