Much of the world currently displays nearly unblinking faith in the expertise of key central bank guardians such as the Federal Reserve Board, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, and Bank of England. These illuminated central bankers supposedly will continue to play substantial and successful roles in engineering further economic growth via easy money schemes such as interest rate yield repression, quantitative easing (even if money printing ends in America or elsewhere, the securities buying operation may not be unwound quickly, if at all), and forward guidance wordplay. The Fed wizard in particular also surely has an almost pain-free and coherent exit strategy from its longstanding highly accommodative programs, right?
Ongoing trust in such marvelous central bank talent finds a counterpart in widespread belief that the Chinese economic growth miracle will continue for the long run, or at least the foreseeable future. Significant government deficit spending and relaxed credit policies indeed sparked much Chinese growth in recent years. However, Chinese real GDP growth probably has slowed more than many believe. Assorted intertwined variables hint at this reduced expansion and suggest that the slowdown in its growth rate probably will continue over the medium term. Given China’s crucial role in the interdependent global economy, this relative weakness in its GDP growth should have ominous implications for growth elsewhere.
Admittedly, China’s official and private sector debt scene is murky. Yet the edging down of its real GDP growth is occurring in an environment of its increasingly troubling debt and credit situation. All else equal, efforts to solve or at least mitigate debt and credit problems probably will result in greater than expected (desired) cuts in the country’s economic growth rate.
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China- Its Great Growth Story Grows Old (6-23-14)
Charts- China (6-23-14, for essay China- Its Great Growth Story Grows Old)