订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

投资理财

夸大中国经济放缓要不得

Bill Powell 2012年07月04日

是的,中国经济增速正在放缓。发达世界上演的经济危机已波及到中国,但还没有严重到要扼杀中国经济的增长势头,中国经济增长仍有足够的空间。

    身居上海,大多数时候,每到夜晚,我都会听到消费者新闻与财经频道(CNBC)里那些远在美国的、面目模糊的专家们絮叨着中国经济的天就要塌了,于是我很快便会睡眼惺忪。我已经开始习惯这些有线电视网的愚昧无知,要不然肯定早就发疯了。在对全球经济超级担忧的当下(提醒一句,这种担忧合情合理,毕竟欧美经济危机仍在不断升级),我们不妨深吸一口气,将目前中国的经济放缓置于一定背景下来看待。

    过去一年中国经济的放缓是有必要的。前十年大多数时候,中国的实际GDP增速都保持在10%以上,引发了普遍的通货膨胀和经济结构的严重扭曲(过度依赖固定资产投资作为经济增长动力)。为此,政府收紧了政策,特别严加调控住宅市场。住宅建设过热,但绝大多数中国人还是买不起房,从而导致社会矛盾升级。(建设过热和房价过高显然是一对经济悖论,我们稍后将做解释。)

    宏观调控政策已经奏效,效果或许甚至有点超出政府的预想,因为很明显,今年前两个季度中国经济增速正在快速放缓。3月份,中国国务院总理温家宝正式将2012年的官方GDP增长目标调低到了7.5%,但就算达到这个目标都还需要点运气。中国近来的工业产值、用电量等数据都非常差。全球大宗商品价格下跌,从煤炭、铁矿石到原油的库存都在不断攀升,显然都与中国经济的放缓紧密相关。受中国需求推动的大宗商品市场长达十年的牛市正在接近尾声。

    造成中国经济放缓的部分原因是欧洲危机——经济学家委婉地称其“经济衰退”,但老实说,希腊、西班牙等国的情况已经比大萧条好不了多少。欧洲是中国最大的贸易伙伴国,欧洲危机加深,中国自然不能全身而退。同时,美国是中国第二大贸易伙伴国,美国经济疲弱自然也无益于中国。

    中国政府主导的这轮经济放缓完全有必要,但它恰好赶上了外部需求疲弱,所以结果自然不太美妙。特别是那些相信中国经济将永远保持10%的年增长、持续进行相应产能扩张的公司。预计中国业务比重高的跨国公司业绩不及预期的情况将越来越多。

    不过,话虽如此,也不能夸大当前中国经济的放缓。中国经济没有出现自由落体式的下滑。它面临的宏观问题也远不及欧美眼前的问题。要知道,首先,将中国归为“出口型”经济已不再准确,因此外部需求的冲击可能有限。中国的经常项目顺差在国民经济中的比率已略低于3%,远低于八年前的10%。发达世界上演的经济危机已经波及中国,但还没有严重到扼杀中国经济的增长势头。

    Some of the last words I hear before nodding off to sleep most nights here in Shanghai are uttered by a pasty-faced guy in the United States, nattering on CNBC about how the sky is falling (economically speaking) in China. I've become somewhat inured to the inanities of cable television -- you'd go insane if it were otherwise -- but in these days of hyper-concern about the global economy (quite legitimate concern mind you, given the unfolding debacles in Europe and the United States), it's useful for everyone to take a deep breath and put China's current slowdown in some context.

    China's economy for the past year has been slowing out of necessity. Its consistent 10%-plus real GDP growth rates for most of the past decade had contributed to a broad inflation, as well as severe distortions in the economy's composition (a significant over reliance on fixed asset investment as the driver of growth). The government tightened policy as a result, and put shackles in particular on the residential housing market, which was at once overbuilt and still unaffordable for the vast majority of Chinese, thus contributing to social tensions here. (Overbuiltand overpriced is, to be sure, an economic oxymoron, but we'll leave the explanation for that for later.)

    The tightening measures worked, arguably a bit more than the government intended, as it became clear in the first two quarters of this year that China was decelerating rapidly. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in March officially lowered the government's growth target for 2012 to 7.5%, and that should be considered a target that Beijing will be lucky to hit this year. The data these days -- industrial production, electricity consumption -- are weak, and the global slump in commodity prices, with inventories piling up in everything from coal to iron ore to crude oil, is obviously closely tied to macro weakness in China. It's the unwinding of the decade-long, China-driven bull market in commodities that is now over.

    Part of the China slow-down is driven by the disaster in Europe -- what polite economists call a "recession," but which is, let's face it, nothing less than a depression in countries like Greece and Spain. Europe is China's biggest trading partner, and China is plainly not immune to its deepening pain. The U.S. is China's second-largest trading partner, and its weakening economy is obviously not helping China's growth, either.

    So a government-led deceleration, which was necessary, now has weakness in external demand added to it, and the result is not pretty. That's particularly true for companies the world over that convinced themselves that China would grow at 10% per year forever, and scaled up capacity accordingly. Expect earnings disappointments from multinationals everywhere with big China businesses to increase.

    But, having said all that, it's critical not to exaggerate the current weakness. China is not in free fall. The macro issues it confronts pale in comparison with those now front and center in Europe and the U.S. Remember, first, that China can no longer accurately be characterized as an "export led" economy, so the damage the outside world can do is limited. Beijing's current account surplus as a share of its economy is now slightly less than 3%. That's down from 10% eight years ago. The unfolding economic debacle in the developed world is wounding China, but not killing it.

1 2 3 下一页

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏