Chinese slowdown confirmed in Chinese and IMF data

Chinese slowdown confirmed in Chinese and IMF data

Overview

The Chinese economy grew by 7.0% y-o-y in the first quarter of 2015, according to National Bureau of Statistics in China. This is the weakest overall growth in six years. Growth during the quarter was strongest in the industrial sector (6.4%) and the service sector (7.9%), whereas the primary sector (3.2%) contributed to a lesser extent.
The Chinese economy grew by 7.0% y-o-y in the first quarter of 2015, according to National Bureau of Statistics in China. This is the weakest overall growth in six years. Growth during the quarter was strongest in the industrial sector (6.4%) and the service sector (7.9%), whereas the primary sector (3.2%) contributed to a lesser extent.

The headline data confirms the economic outlook for China, which remains a slowing economy that is going through a transition from being heavily reliant on exports, manufacturing and construction to being one that runs on domestic consumer demand. 

The development is ongoing at high speed and data on industrial production in March and total retail sales of consumer goods in the first quarter confirmed this change is very much on. Industrial production grew by 5.6% in March y-o-y, which is the lowest since the end of 2008. On the other hand total retail sales in the first quarter grew by 10.6%.

What does this means to shipping?

Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, Peter Sand, says: “The transition of the Chinese economy is affecting the shipping industry a lot. During the past decades of strong economic development, Chinese foreign trade have been growing tremendously. Dry bulk in particular has benefitted and crude oil tankers too on the imports side. While container shipping on intra-Asian routes and westbound trades has benefitted from massive exports of manufactured goods”.

“What we have seen in shipping in recent years and is going to experience more in future is the knock-on effect from China becoming a relatively more closed economy, driven forward by domestic demand rather the foreign demand like i.e. the US. In short this translates into a lower level of shipping demand going forward than what we got accustomed to during the past decades”

“BIMCO often mentions that the future holds a “New Normal” of shipping demand, one where slightly less trade in generated from global economic growth – as compared to previously, as the composition of the global GDP is changing. What we see from China today is evidence on just that.” 


IMF has revised its World Economic Outlook

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has kept is forecast for global growth unchanged from its January estimate at 3.5% for 2015, while upward adjusting the 2014 estimate to 3.4% (3.3%).

The “New Normal” is also evident from the GDP growth rates in recent years, where advanced economies in particular have suffered from low growth in the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis that broke out in 2008.

For 2015 the advanced economies is staging a comeback, as IMF forecast 2.4% in 2015 against 1.8% in 2014, whereas the emerging markets and developing economies are set to grow by 4.3% against 4.6% last year. 

“There are no major surprises in IMF’s forecast. Uneven growth and a lower future potential output level is all known stuff. Amongst the minor surprises the US is downward revised on the back of a higher valued dollar and lower oil production than previously expected.”

“India is also worth mentioning amongst the minor surprises as IMF projects 7.5% growth in both 2015 and 2016. This means India surpass Chinas expected growth of 6.8% and 6.3% for same years. However, as the Chinese economy is five times bigger than India, the shipping industry remains most reliant on the developments in China”, adds Peter Sand.


in Copenhagen, DK

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