Jonathan Fenby
Managing Director, China Research
Bo Zhuang
Head of Beijing office – China Research/EM Macro
Fergus Naughton
Senior Analyst, China Research


Mini ‘stop-go cycles’ are China’s new norm



China Infrastucture Report


China’s international impact makes its performance vital not only domestically but also for the health of the global economy. The new Xi Jinping-Li Keqiang leadership faces crucial questions which go to the core of the ruling system. The world’s second largest economy needs to reform and rebalance but this involves major challenges for the Party State, which we probe through our unique combination of political and economic analysis.

The model of cheap labour and capital supplying strong export markets is running out of time. Although we do not expect a hard landing, growth is falling. China wants to move up the value chain, but it still has to guarantee employment and defend existing industries. The new leaders know there is a need for change but are constrained by the system within which they operate after a “lost decade” under the previous administration. We believe that, despite reformist rhetoric, liberalisation will be slow to take effect as Xi focuses on "Party strengthening" and building up his own position, while currency appreciation will be limited and inflation will rise over time

Our approach

We analyse the macro-economic and political factors at work and relate these to relevant areas such as infrastructure, industry and trade in order to produce uniquely rounded and compelling insights.

Our local presence, in-depth knowledge, analytical skills and sources enable us to track often opaque politics and policy developments to provide a holistic picture of how China is moving. This goes well beyond the frequently confused (and confusing) monthly data and instant analysis of immediate numbers. A key element is our analytical knowledge of how policy is framed and the factors affecting key issues such as inflation, the fiscal balance, currency and monetary policy, and social stability.

The scale of the issues at play in China and the role of the government in directing the economy make our model of policy research particularly appropriate by analysing both macro-economic trends and the effect on specific sectors within the often misunderstood political context. Only by melding the economic numbers with social pressures and political objectives of the leadership can one get a true picture of China's evolution in both a domestic and a global context.

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