World Economy

China Expects Rapid Growth

Although July’s industrial output growth fell to 7.2% year on year from 7.6% in June, China’s manufacturing PMI has stayed above 51 for 10 months in a row
China’s consumer confidence index reached 112 points from April to June, the highest score since the fourth quarter in 2013.China’s consumer confidence index reached 112 points from April to June, the highest score since the fourth quarter in 2013.

China's industrial output, investment and consumption are widely expected to be relatively high, despite milder growth in July, as the economy continues to show resilience.

While analysts expect slightly muted July data compared with June, they believe an improving global environment, expanding manufacturing activity and strong consumers will offset a property investment deceleration, Xinhua reported.

The Chinese government will release monthly data on major economic indicators on Monday.

Industrial output in July is expected to remain strong, despite moderating from June, according to statistics on manufacturing, power use and steel output, said China International Trust Investment Corporation Securities chief economist Zhu Jianfang.

He estimated July's industrial output growth at 7.2% year on year, a bit slower than 7.6% in June.

China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index has stayed above 51 for 10 months in a row, official data showed. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

In July, the official manufacturing PMI came in at 51.4, down from 51.7 in June, but another private survey showed its manufacturing PMI hit a four-month high of 51.1, up from 50.4 in June.

There were also signs of increased power use and steel output. Coal consumption by six of the country's largest power firms rose 10.6% year on year in July, up by 5 percentage points from June.

Major steel producers saw crude steel output grow 10.7% year on year last month, up by 2.4 percentage points from June.

While industrial output will be under pressure from the cooling property sector in the short term, a better global economy should put a floor under any slide in growth in the second half, Zhu predicted.

Fixed-Asset Investment

Fixed-asset investment, a key driver of China's economy, is expected to post a mild slowdown, as infrastructure investment usually loses some steam in July as a result of hot weather and slowing fiscal expenditures.

China Merchants Securities chief macroeconomic analyst Xie Yaxuan predicted fixed-asset investment to grow 8.4% year on year in the first seven months, compared with 8.6% in the first half.

Despite the slightly lower rate, investment by private capital and that in manufacturing is likely to cushion the downward movement of property investment growth, according to Bank of Communications chief economist Lian Ping.

For consumption, the warming auto market and increasing incomes should support robust growth in retail sales for July, analysts said. Some 1.97 million vehicles were sold in July, up 6.2% year on year, accelerating from a 4.5% rise in June, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

The country's average per capita disposable income grew 7.3% year on year in the first half after adjusting for inflation, outpacing the national GDP growth.

Zhu predicted retail sales growth in July to ease to 10.7% from 11% in June, the fastest increase since December 2015, noting that slackening property sales could restrain consumption of furniture and home appliances. Lian said China's consumption growth is typically milder in July.

CCI Reaches New High

China's consumer confidence index reached 112 points from April to June, the highest score since the fourth quarter in 2013. Chinese consumer confidence maintained a steady increase, as the country's economy continues to fare well, said a study by Nielsen.

Vishal Bali, managing director of Nielsen China, said China's CCI in Q2 suggested the continuous upward trend of the country's overall economy.

China's GDP growth stood at 6.9% in the second quarter of 2017, up 0.1 percentage point than market expectations, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. "As the national economy gains a steady momentum, Chinese consumers are becoming more willing to spend, with nationwide buying spree driving upgrade," said Bali.

The rising CCI was also due to consumers' optimistic perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions, the report said. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism to the three factors above, respectively.

The personal finance state of consumers from the third and fourth-tier cities, especially those living in rural areas, has improved significantly. For example, the figure in the fourth-tier city rose by 3 points from the last quarter to 71.


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