China Adds Stimulus As Economic Recovery Picks Up

China Adds Stimulus As Economic Recovery Picks Up

November 15, 2023

China’s central bank boosted liquidity in the financial system ahead of the release of official data that showed a faster-than-expected acceleration in industrial production and retail sales growth, which waned the possibility of the economy facing a substantial slowdown, although the real estate market continues to pose risks along with unfavorable external conditions.

Ahead of the release on Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China rolled over the medium-term lending facility loans at 2.5 percent.

Although the rate on MLF was kept unchanged, the bank added net CNY 600 billion into the system.

The action has raised expectations that similar liquidity-enhancing policies, such as the reserve requirement ratio might also be tapped in the coming days, as the government looks to support economic activity, ING economist Robert Carnell said.

The China is unlikely to resort to take any action that would entail to large direct fiscal stimulus measures or rate cuts, which could send the yuan weaker, the economist added.

The annual growth in industrial production improved to 4.6 percent in October from 4.5 percent in September, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed.

Output outperformed the consensus expectation of 4.4 percent.

Retail sales, a key indicator of consumption, advanced 7.6 percent after September’s 5.5 percent increase, driven by the Golden Week holiday and the low base of comparison.

Sales were expected to improve moderately to 7.0 percent.

During January to October, fixed asset investment climbed 2.9 percent from the same period last year after growing 3.1 percent in the January to September period.

Property investment decreased 9.3 percent.

At 5.0 percent, the urban jobless rate was unchanged from September.

Today’s data suggested that the recovery was struggling to gain a strong footing at the start of the fourth quarter, Capital Economics economist Sheana Yue said.

“But there is a risk that growth may not bottom out this quarter as we had initially expected unless policy support is ramped up further,” the economist said.

Nonetheless, Beijing is widely expected to achieve its growth target of around 5.0 percent this year.

The International Monetary Fund forecast China’s economy to expand 5.4 percent this year before slowing to 4.6 percent next year.

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