The Hindu Editorial (Beijing surprise) 19 April 2019
Beijing surprise: China’s growth
China’s economy is showing signs of a rebound. According to figures released by its National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, the Chinese economy grew at 6.4% in the first quarter of the current year compared to the same period last year. While this rate of growth is equal to the pace registered in the December quarter and faster than economists’ expectations of a 6.3% expansion, it is still slower than the growth rate of 6.8% recorded in the same period last year. Retail sales and factory output also showed strong growth momentum. The latest growth figure is seen as a sign that the Chinese government’s efforts over the last few quarters to stimulate what is the world’s second-largest economy are beginning to have a positive effect. Total social financing grew by almost 40% to 8.2 trillion yuan in the first quarter of the year, pointing to a credit expansion that will boost growth in the coming quarters. With trade tensions with the United States subsiding significantly for now, export growth may accelerate, further boosting the Chinese economy. Chinese exports reached a five-month high in March, rising 14.2% when compared to the same month last year. The Chinese stock market has also been buoyed by the early signs of an economic turnaround and increased liquidity, with the CSI 300 index rising by over a third in value since the beginning of the year.
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Gross domestic product growth that is generated largely by increased lending, however, poses the risk of losing momentum once the stimulus is withdrawn. Beijing, of late, has once again been prodding its banks to boost lending to public and private businesses, apart from implementing various fiscal measures to boost consumer spending. This could lead to a tricky situation where businesses that resort to heavy borrowing when credit is easily available become burdened with disproportionately high amounts of debt once the economic boom cycle reverses. Chinese authorities may eventually be forced to crack down on exuberant lending by banks when the economy is found to be overheating. It was such a crackdown that contributed to the fall in property prices in the last few years. For now, though, property prices have begun to rebound after restrictions on the real estate sector were eased lately, in an attempt to stimulate growth in the economy. The Chinese government is now walking a tightrope as it attempts to keep the momentum from slowing in the short term, even as market forces try to correct imbalances within the economy. Such macroeconomic policy, focussed too narrowly on the short term while ignoring the long-term consequences, however, does not bode well for either the Chinese economy or the wider global economy.
The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Wordlist
1) STIMULATE (Verb) = Excite, ( उत्तेजित करना )
Synonyms = Provoke, Arouse.
Antonyms = Discourage, Dissuade.
2) BUOYED (Verb) = Make Light, ( सीमित, संकुचित )
Synonyms = Encouraged, Uplift.
Antonyms = Sad, Blue.
3) LIQUIDITY (Noun) = Fluidity, ( सम्पत्ति )
Synonyms = Cash on Hand, Cashflow.
Antonyms = Solidity, Immovability.
4) PRODDING (Verb) = Poke at, ( उकसाने की प्रक्रिया )
Synonyms = Nudge, Press.
Antonyms = Discourage, Dissuade.
5) EXUBERANT (Adj) = Energetic, ( उल्लासपूर्ण )
Synonyms = Animated, Excited.
Antonyms = Dull, Apathetic.
6) CONSEQUENCE (Noun) = Result, (परिणाम )
Synonyms = Aftermath, Effect.
Antonyms = Cause, Origin.
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Daily Gk Tonic From The Hindu Editorial
- China, officially the People’s Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world’s most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Wikipedia
President: Xi Jinping Trending
Dialing code: +86
Population: 138.64 crores (2017) World Bank
Official script: Simplified Chinese
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