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    Gavekal Research

    The New Normal Will Not Be 7% Growth

    How far have China’s famously growth-obsessed leaders really dialed back their growth expectations? We fear not quite enough. China has given up on pursuing 10% growth, but still wants to keep growth of at least 7%. We do not think this is possible, for at least three reasons: history, housing and leverage.

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    Gavekal Research

    From Managing Growth To Managing Debt

    China’s central bank has announced another interest-rate cut—but how many more is it prepared to deliver? The latest move reduced benchmark lending and deposit rates by 25bp, after last November’s 40bp cut, a response to the growing pressure to ease the financial strain on companies from falling prices and weak growth. Indeed, we think monetary policy decisions in China are increasingly driven not just by the classic issues of growth and...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Can The New Silk Road Revive China’s Exports?

    The various New Silk Road initiatives add up to one of the biggest and most elaborate export-promotion plans in history. Yet even this new brand of checkbook diplomacy may struggle to reverse the global economic forces that have been weighing on Chinese exports.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Five Macro Questions For 2015

    For our first China research piece in the new year, we offer a guide to the economic outlook in the form of short answers to some big questions: Will the pace of economic reform accelerate? Will monetary policy keep getting looser? Will the property market recover convincingly? Can corporate profits hold up? Is consumer spending in trouble?

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Deflation: Local Or Global?

    Another month, another fall in Chinese producer prices. Last week’s release of inflation data showed that consumer-price inflation is still low at 1.4%, and producer prices are still dropping, by 2.7%. The producer-price index (PPI) has now fallen every month since March 2012. This extended spell of falling prices is giving rise to worries that China’s deflationary pressures could spread beyond its borders, weighing down attempts by Europe,...

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    Gavekal Research

    Our Holiday Reading List

    For the third year we are publishing a year-end books round-up. The topics covered by the 17 books in our compendium include hardy Gavekal perennials such as economics, politics and the effect of technological transformation on modern life. In addition Charles considers ancient Rome’s decline due to its apparent embrace of socialism over liberalism. Louis kicks us off with a look at the roots of our most basic human urges.

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: No One Expects Chinese Inflation

    Not many prices are rising in China these days. Core consumer-price inflation has averaged less than 2% over the past two years. The producer price index has been falling for nearly three years. Prices of coal, iron ore and now oil, once bolstered by Chinese demand, are in retreat globally. Housing prices are in their longest correction since 2008.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q4 2014 - The Not So Grand Plan For Fixing State Enterprises

    China has launched a new round of state-owned enterprise reform, a welcome move after a decade of stasis. So far this reform is less a coherent plan than a collection of initiatives by officials and executives.

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Slower Oil Demand Is No Puzzle

    Are plunging global oil prices sending a signal that something is amiss in the Chinese economy? China is now the world’s largest importer of crude oil, a mantle it recently took over from the US, so changes in its demand should certainly have an impact on the global market. We have heard from a number of investors that China’s weak demand for energy is hard to reconcile with real GDP growth that is still above 7%.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Housing’s Next Decade

    China’s housing market is not collapsing, but it is maturing and will decline. Our model shows that China’s housing demand is past its high-growth phase, and has been bouncing around its peak level since 2011. We project construction volume will decline 15-20% from current levels by 2025, hurting demand for steel and other construction materials.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Lies, Damn Lies And The Li Keqiang Index

    Even when China’s economic data are bad, there are those who think they should be even worse. GDP growth is now officially just above 7%, and it seems quite likely that the growth rate will dip below that totemic level next year. Still, skeptics of the official GDP numbers point to indicators like electricity generation or steel output to argue that growth is actually much weaker. While GDP is a problematic indicator in all countries, and the...

    1
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Can Reforms Revitalize The Private Sector?

    China’s heavy reliance on local governments and state enterprises for its stimulus efforts in recent years has diverted attention away from the true driver of growth: the private sector. But unfortunately investment by private firms has been steadily slowing for years, and so has overall growth. In this presentation, Andrew explains why private-sector investment has been weak, and what the government can do about it. There is potential for...

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: The Losers From Lower Energy Prices

    China should cheer a decline in global energy prices: as the world’s largest consumer of coal and second-largest consumer of oil, cheaper energy cuts its import bill and gives consumers and businesses more money to spend on other things. But falling energy prices have in fact brought significant pain to parts of the country.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Genesis Of The Capitalist Farmer

    The world’s biggest farm is running out of farmers. So to continue its impressive record of boosting agricultural production, China needs to change how it raises crops—shifting from techniques that rely on lots of labor to ones that use more capital and technology. If this structural transformation is going to happen, China will need a sustained boom in agricultural capital spending.

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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Wage Growth Still Solid For Now

    As China’s economic growth has downshifted over the past few years, one of the big surprises has been the absence of bad news from the job market. Wages are still rising at double digit rates, and employers still have trouble filling vacancies. The reason, as is now widely understood, is that the structural slowdown in investment growth is happening at the same time as a structural shift in the labor market. Changing demographics and the...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Small Business To The Rescue?

    Premier Li Keqiang’s most successful economic reform so far is deregulation that has led to a surge in registrations of new private businesses. The next step will be to let these little companies become big ones.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Enduring Hatred Of Big Cities

    China’s government has been promising a “new-style” urbanization policy that will remedy some of the past decade’s many ills. But the ideas behind it are old: planners still seem convinced that the growth of big cities growth must be controlled, and are continuing wasteful efforts to shift resources to smaller and less productive cities.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    How Resilient Are Consumers?

    It’s increasingly clear these days that China has not one economy but two: the investment-driven complex of housing, infrastructure, materials, and the consumption-driven complex of services and consumer goods. Investment was the leader for many years, but since 2009 growth in capital spending has slowed very sharply. Heavy government stimulus and easy credit has smoothed rather than stopped this slump, which does not yet look to be over. The...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Last Tiger

    The big game hunter has now bagged his finest trophy. On Tuesday, the Communist Party officially announced a corruption investigation into Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the ruling Poliburo Standing Committee. Over recent months investigators have already detained many of Zhou’s relatives and associates. But no official of Zhou’s rank has been formally disciplined for corruption in the reform era, and it has been uncertain when or if he would...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Beijing Battles With Bureaucrats

    It’s official: Li Keqiang is fed up. China’s mild-mannered premier has recently been described in official press releases as “speaking in an extremely severe tone” and “shaking his fist.” The target of this display of temper: government officials who are not moving fast enough to implement economic reforms. And Li’s temper tantrums are not just for show. Nine months after the publication of an ambitious modernization agenda, many of Beijing’s...

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