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Jan-Feb 2020 China Macro Data Recap

The first output data China’s National Bureau of Statistics has released since the coronavirus outbreak point to record declines in industrial production, fixed asset investment, and retail sales. The sharp slowdowns, much deeper than market expectations, also indicated that the data were broadly credible, which should bolster confidence in a rebound in reported activity in the coming months. However, now that the outbreak has spread globally, demand for China’s exports may be slower to rebound. Property sales dropped sharply in February and property construction remains the key medium-term risk to China’s economy even after the virus outbreak subsides. Credit data point to a slowdown in the corporate credit impulse, and transportation flows still warrant scrutiny to see if an early April return to nearly normal industrial activity remains on course.

Posted March 16, 2020
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