The Conference Board China Economy Watch: Demand recovery is significantly lagging production resumption

The Conference Board, Inc., 7 pages, May 11, 2020
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Member businesses in China are driven, in general, by one or more of three key economic factors: investment, consumption and trade. Our monthly China Economy Watch analysis assesses each factor in turn to inform business planning and forecasting.

Document Highlights

The March data, while much improved from the Jan–Feb crater, show broad-based weakness across all major drivers: investment, consumption and trade. Moreover, the March readings do not reflect the collapse of global demand, now in progress due to the global spread of COVID-19, that will bring a major, second wave hit to the Chinese economy. The big concern for China’s economy regards weakening employment, its impact on household income, and in turn the impact of weakening household income on aggregate Chinese consumption. Bottom line, the March data do not indicate that a strong V-shaped recovery is in store for China in Q2. MNCs should prepare for prolonged down-market conditions. One potential silver lining, however, is that the economic stress will induce some, perhaps much, consolidation of weak Chinese competitors, hence enabling market share gains for strong foreign players that could offset the slower market growth.

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