NEWS

January 25, 2020

Retailers, manufacturers shutting doors, letting employees work from home as Wuhan viral outbreak spreads

From Ikea to personal care manufacturer Beiersdorf, businesses are shutting their doors and telling employees to stay home in Wuhan, the epicentre of a viral outbreak that has killed more than three dozen and spread from China to as far away as the United States.But, the question for corporate leaders is whether a travel ban in Wuhan and seven other cities in Hubei province amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus will keep workers home after the Lunar New Year holiday break, stifle the…
January 25, 2020

Explained: The economic importance of China’s Lunar New Year as the Year of the Rat begins

Families across China celebrated the beginning of its new year on Friday, which began with one of the planet’s greatest migrations, and will continue with a month of nationwide factory closures along with a spending spree that has the potential to have a big seasonal impact on the economy.Known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, all of China, the most populous country in the world, takes a holiday at once to mark the occasion, drawing comparisons with Thanksgiving, Christmas or the Super…
January 23, 2020

Explained: Why Wuhan is so important to China’s economy and the potential impact of the coronavirus

Concerns are mounting about the economic toll from a deadly outbreak of coronavirus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, a transport hub that is home to more than 11 million people and a major engine of growth in the world’s second largest economy.Public transport in and out the city – including trains, planes and ferries – ground to a halt on Thursday morning as authorities placed the city on lockdown to try to contain the spread of the Sars-like virus that has already killed 17 people and…
January 23, 2020

Why Wuhan is so important to China’s economy and the potential impact of the coronavirus

Concerns are mounting about the economic toll from a deadly outbreak of coronavirus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, a transport hub that is home to more than 11 million people and a major engine of growth in the world’s second largest economy.Public transport in and out the city – including trains, planes and ferries – ground to a halt on Thursday morning as authorities placed the city on lockdown to try to contain the spread of the Sars-like virus that has already killed 17 people and…
January 23, 2020

China’s provinces revise 2018 GDP estimates amid questions about economic data quality

More than a third of China’s provincial governments have downgraded their 2018 gross domestic product estimates following a crackdown from Beijing on local governments falsifying data to exaggerate their economic performance.The National Bureau of Statistics said last year it would unify the way it calculates provincial and national economic output from early 2020, amid scepticism about the reliability of Chinese economic figures, particularly at a local level where governments have strong…
January 22, 2020

Wuhan coronavirus: outbreak wreaks havoc on China’s Lunar New Year travel plans, hitting family reunions

The coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan that has spread across the country is threatening to wreak havoc on Lunar New Year travel plans, at a time when many Chinese people journey to their hometowns for family reunions.People from Wuhan and its landlocked province of Hubei were officially asked to cancel plans to travel back to the region, amid fears that the virus would be spread further. On Wednesday morning, it was confirmed to have killed nine people and infected 440 others.Sisi Chen,…
January 22, 2020

China coronavirus: outbreak wreaks havoc on Lunar New Year travel plans, hitting family reunions

The coronavirus outbreak in the city of Wuhan that has spread across the country is threatening to wreak havoc on Lunar New Year travel plans, at a time when many Chinese people journey to their hometowns for family reunions.People from Wuhan and its landlocked province of Hubei were officially asked to cancel plans to travel back to the region, amid fears that the virus would be spread further. On Wednesday morning, it was confirmed to have killed nine people and infected 440 others.Sisi Chen,…
January 22, 2020

China’s demand for gold dropped 13 per cent in 2019 as marriages, births also plunged

China, the world’s largest gold market, said its consumption of gold plunged 13 per cent in 2019 to 1,002.78 tonnes as international gold prices soared and marriages and births shrank at home.It marked the first fall since 2016, with the absolute consumption the lowest in the last three years, according to data from the China Gold Association.Gold jewellery consumption, which accounted for around two thirds of the total, fell 8.2 per cent to 676.23 tonnes, while consumption of bullion and coins…
January 22, 2020

China’s US trade war deal is ‘is good for the world’ and‘will not impact’ imports from other countries

Vice-Premier Han Zheng told the World Economic Forum that China’s trade deal with the United States will not hurt rival exporting nations as complaints mount from governments that were left out of the agreement.Han said that China’s commitment to buy more from the US are in line with its World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations and will not squeeze out other imports.He also pledged to lower barriers for foreign investors as he set out the case for China’s engagement with the global economy…
January 22, 2020

Wuhan coronavirus outbreak could hurt retail sales, tourism in mainland China as Lunar New Year travel ramps up, UBS says

As the first case of the Wuhan coronavirus was reported in the United States on Tuesday, UBS said the outbreak, if not contained, could weigh on retail sales, tourism and travel in China in the first quarter and the early second quarter of this year.The Swiss bank said it could present some downside risk to its economic growth forecast for the mainland, but it would expect Beijing to engage in additional policy easing to offset any shock from the virus, particularly to affected sectors, such as…
January 22, 2020

Wuhan coronavirus outbreak could be a ‘black swan’ that hurts retail sales, tourism in mainland China as Lunar New Year travel ramps up

As the first case of the Wuhan coronavirus was reported in the United States on Tuesday, market analysts said the outbreak could be a potential “black swan” event that, if not contained, would weigh on the Chinese economy, particularly retail sales, tourism and travel in the first quarter and early second quarter of this year.Timothy Moe, chief Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, said the world is a “much more connected place” than it was during the severe acute respiratory…
January 22, 2020

China facing ‘negative’ economic impact from Wuhan coronavirus less than a week after signing US trade deal

Barely a week after China signed its trade deal with the United States, President Xi Jinping has been thrust into a new crisis that has the potential to disrupt an already fragile economy, with analysts suggesting the Wuhan coronavirus could be the first “black swan” event of 2020.The virus, which started in the city of Wuhan but is believed to have spread to 20 other Chinese cities, is set to “bring negative impact” on economic growth, said Shao Yu, the chief economist at Orient Securities in…
January 21, 2020

Donald Trump says he and China’s Xi Jinping ‘love each other’, phase two trade talks to start ‘very shortly’

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he and President Xi Jinping “love each other”, while insisting that negotiations for a phase two trade deal will start “very shortly”.Trump told the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that his relationship with Xi “is an extraordinary one” less than a week after the two countries agreed their phase one trade deal.“He’s for China, I’m for the US, but other than that we love each other,” Trump said in his speech, stirring laughter in…
January 21, 2020

China’s trade war deal ‘may be doomed from start’ as scepticism mounts over capacity to buy US products

Almost a week after the signing of the phase one trade deal with the United States, scepticism is continuing to mount as to whether China will fulfil its side of an agreement that “may be doomed from the start”.Of particular concern is China’s commitment to buying an additional US$200 billion of US goods over two years, including a clause that would bring its imports of US farm goods to more than US$40 billion a year.“A close look at the data shows that the numbers are even more unrealistic…
January 21, 2020

Climate change may spark ‘green swan’ disasters that trigger systemic financial crisis unless authorities take action, BIS warns

Climate change threatens to provoke “green swan” events that could trigger a systemic financial crisis unless authorities act against such risks, according to the Bank for International Settlements.The analysis by officials at the Basel-based institution – often described as the central bank for central banks – adapts the “black swan” concept devised by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to describe adverse events outside the scope of regular expectations with wide-ranging or extreme impacts.“Green swans or…
January 21, 2020

China’s 2019 foreign direct investment up 5.8 per cent, but outbound investment fell 6 per cent

Foreign direct investment in China in 2019 rose 5.8 per cent from a year earlier to 941.5 billion yuan (US$137 billion), the commerce ministry said on Tuesday.China’s outbound direct investment (ODI) declined 6 per cent to 807.95 billion yuan (US$118 billion).According to the United Nations (UN), foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to developing economies remained stable at an estimated US$694 billion last year, led by China with a flat US$140 billion.FDI dipped slightly around the world last…
January 21, 2020

China’s 2019 foreign direct investment grew most in two years, but outbound investment fell 6 per cent

Foreign direct investment in China in 2019 grew the most in two years, though outbound investment declined amid continuing capital controls.Foreign direct investment (FDI) was up 5.8 per cent year-on-year to 941.5 billion yuan (US$137 billion) last year, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, the biggest rise since 2017, when it grew 7.9 per cent in yuan terms.China remained the second largest recipient of FDI globally, said Chinese vice-commerce Minister Qian Keming on Tuesday in Beijing.China…
January 21, 2020

China’s high-speed railway network advances full steam ahead, despite ‘grey rhino’ financial risk

Despite it being just 200km from Beijing, Wang Dianqi rarely returned to his hometown of Zhangjiakou in the north of Hebei province before this winter.It often took the academic editor up to five hours to drive the mountainous roads and congested motorways, and even longer if he took the old train system, which travelled along tracks built more than a century ago.But on a recent morning as he boarded China’s first high-speed “smart” train, which boasts speeds of up to 350km an hour, fully…
January 21, 2020

Shanghai’s mayor orders city’s bureaucrats to undergo a culture change in charm offensive to attract foreign investments

The mayor of China’s commercial hub has instructed Shanghai’s bureaucrats to undertake a change in their work culture, as he cites Tesla’s US$2 billion Gigafactory in the city as proof that an investor-friendly attitude helps attract foreign investments. Officials in the local authority should behave like attendants at a retail store, rather than bureaucrats with power to approve projects, said Ying Yong, at the conclusion of the Shanghai legislative meeting. “By improving the business…
January 20, 2020

China’s 2020 growth rate prediction raised to 6.0 per cent by IMF after US trade war deal

China’s economy will growth by 6.0 per cent in 2020, the International Monetary Fund predicted on Monday, with the upwards revision reflecting a feeling that “global growth may be bottoming out”.The change from its previous prediction of 5.8 per cent in October followed the tariff reductions included in last week’s phase one trade deal with the United States. Despite continued economic headwinds, “some indications emerged toward year-end that global growth may be bottoming out,” the IMF said,…