Skip to content

Chinese Economist: China’s Economy Loses Steam

In a speech he gave on May 5, Chinese economist Xu Xiaonian stated that the growth of China’s economy had reached its peak.

Xu pointed out that there are two ways to generate economic growth. One is by increasing the amount of input and the other is by a more efficient use of inputs. China’s model is based on the former one and has reached its limit. However much stimulation the government puts into the market, there will not be much result.

Statistics show that, a decade ago, an investment of one dollar in China could generate forty to fifty cents of return. Now it only generates seven cents. The marginal return is approaching zero.

Since 2012 and through 2016, China’s Producer Price Index (PPI) has been decreasing. The price of a product out of the factory continues to drop. This shows that China has an over-capacity problem. Companies keep lowering their prices to keep their sales and market share. It means that any new investment will only generate a negative return.

Xu suggested switching to an innovation based economy. He gave four ways to encourage innovation: protect private property rights, reduce (the size of) the state-owned economy, loosen and remove controls, and reduce taxes.

Source: Sohu, May 8, 2017