The Chinese communist regime has admitted that the GDP growth rate in the second quarter of the year was lower than expected, indicating that the country’s economy is in a state of stagnation or decline. Both domestic and foreign investment and demand continue to weaken, while domestic structural problems are predicted to increase government debt risk.
Official data released by China’s Statistics Bureau shows that the country’s GDP grew only 0.8 percent in April-June from the previous quarter, signaling a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. However, the year-on-year growth rate for the second quarter reached 6.3 percent, the highest in the past two years. The GDP’s year-on-year growth rate for the first half of the year was 5.5 percent.
Although these figures might suggest some level of economic growth, they can be misleading. According to Agence France-Presse, the year-on-year comparison only takes into account the same period last year, when economic growth was impacted by the regime’s “zero-COVID” policies. The acknowledged economic growth rate for the second quarter was still slower than expected. Previous growth forecasts by Bloomberg, major Chinese financial media Caixin, and Reuters were notably higher at 7.1 percent, 7 percent, and 7.3 percent, respectively.
Analysts have expressed disappointment with the 6.3 percent growth rate, indicating that the trend of economic recovery is slowing down. The youth unemployment rate has also reached a record high of 21.3 percent since 2018, further highlighting the weakness of the economy.
Commentators have identified three key economic engines that drive China’s economic growth, and all three are currently facing challenges. Domestic demand, investment, and imports and exports are all weakening. Consumption, in particular, has been dragging down the official GDP figures, with retail sales falling sharply in June. Investment, especially private investment, is also declining, and the government’s capacity to stimulate investment is limited. This has resulted in capital outflows and industry outflows. Additionally, China’s current inflation rate is at zero, indicating low investor confidence and reduced consumer spending.
The Chinese Communist Party’s calls for private enterprises to invest more in the economy have been met with reluctance due to the regime’s regulatory restrictions on real estate and e-commerce companies. Real estate development investment has decreased by 7.9 percent, and the development and construction sector has experienced declines in sales volumes. This lack of private investment has driven the expansion of debts in state-owned enterprises, which raises concerns about government debt and the overall health of the economy.
Official customs data has revealed a significant decline in export trade volume, with China experiencing the largest drop in three years. Imports have also fallen year-on-year. These indicators suggest further economic challenges for the country.
There is a general belief that the Chinese regime often falsifies data, leading many to suspect that the true economic situation is even worse than reported. Economic commentators have noted that China’s economic performance is now so poor that authorities are unable to continue concealing the brewing economic crisis. The lack of confidence among Chinese citizens has also contributed to the failure of economic recovery. Without confidence, it is challenging to drive economic growth.
In such an uncertain political atmosphere, where policies are unclear and businesses and individuals are targeted by the regime, investment and growth opportunities are limited. The lack of confidence and trust in the government’s handling of the economy further exacerbates the economic challenges faced by China.
In conclusion, China’s economy is experiencing stagnation or decline, as investment and demand continue to weaken. Domestic structural problems and lack of confidence in the future are predicted to increase government debt risk. Despite official data indicating some level of growth, observers caution that the situation may be worse than reported due to potential data falsification. The Chinese regime’s uncertain policies and targeting of businesses and individuals have hindered investment and growth opportunities, further undermining economic recovery.