2019 OECD Economic Surveys: China 2019

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China’s growth continues to slow, but it is still high by international standards and contributes about a quarter of global growth. The growth model based on capital accumulation has led to misallocation of capital and excess capacity in a number of industries as well as falling investment efficiency, dictating a slower pace for investment. The reining in of shadow banking, an important source of financing for local infrastructure projects and for the private sector, weighs further on investment. Investment has been financed by debt, fuelled by interest subsidies and implicit guarantees for state-owned enterprises and other public entities. Slower growth implies lower enterprise profits and lower ability to service their debt, which has been accumulated primarily by state-owned enterprises and has reached unsustainable levels. Slowing growth and swiftly enacted tax cuts also imply lower fiscal resources to make growth more inclusive. In the medium term, productivity gains and more inclusive policies could sustain growth. Local protectionism increases transaction costs and hinders competition and restrictions on the hukou and the fragmented pension system limit labour mobility.

The Economic Survey of China assesses the country’s recent macroeconomic performance and proposes policy measures to promote higher-quality growth. Policy recommendations relate to how to integrate product and labour markets and enhance inclusiveness.


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Basic statistics of China, 2017

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the OECD)

This Survey was prepared by Margit Molnar under the supervision of Patrick Lenain. The Survey benefitted from contributions by Ting Yan, Yusha Li, Yiying Shi, Assaf Geva, Zhihao Chen and Ran Xu. Hyunjeong Hwang provided the statistical assistance and Stephanie Henry provided editorial support. The Survey was discussed at a meeting of the Economic and Development Review Committee on 14 January 2019, with participation of representatives of the Chinese government led by the State Information Centre. The cut-off date for data and information used in the Survey is 15 March 2019. The previous Survey of China was issued in March 2017.The Survey is published on the responsibility of the Secretary General of the OECD. Information on other Surveys and how they are prepared is available at www.oecd.org/surveys


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