I expect the slowdown in China's economic growth in the near-term, driven by reduction in domestic demand, which would be the main constraint on achieving ambitious plan of the government for economic expansion. Also I think that slowdown in industrial production will continue its negative trend and will lead to volatility in domestic financial markets, based on concerns about risks related to the trade outlook. Probably, US-China trade tensions will fresh strain and will make a negative direct impact on the Chinese economy. That's why I have bearish view on China's economy in the mid-term.
I expect that China's economy growth will be more moderate in coming years (6 - 6.5%), however, that will mainly caused by Government's plan of 'high-quality development': reducing of imbalances in economy, reducing pollution, stabilization of financing sector. As a result, it is expected (1) further decline in investment due to capacity cuts and stricter pollution controls, (2) tighter credit conditions that will lead to demand decreasing. In the same time, government is likely to support the growth by fiscal stimulus (through SOE and infrastructure projects). I assume that long-term results could be mostly positive for China economy (despite lower growth in near-term). However, there are some challenges for Government in near and long-term perspective: 1) Possible trade war with USA (that could cost for China 1-2% of GDP growth). 2) Demographic: rapidly aging population, declining labor force (one of the key issue announced by The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a leading government think tank). 3) Unemployment growth, particularly, due to planned reducing of imbalances in economy and capacity cuts. Coupled with rising living cost, this problem might create a social instability in China. 4) Local governments debts. Despite China conducts tighter monetary policy to stabilize its financing sector, the real situation with local governments debts is opaque (due to local government financing vehicles, public-private partnerships and possible faking reporting data)
I believe that China is able to achieve its goal, announced in April 2018 by the Communist Party of China, to double real GDP by 2020 compared with the level in 2010, that would require real GDP growth to average at least 6.3% a year in 2018-2020. Money squeeze in 2017 will make negative impact on economic activity, however, I think this is likely to be offset by looser economic policy settings. Therefore consumption and investment growth will remain stable in 2018. The external sector is sensible to US-China trade tensions, but I don't expect an escalation into full-blown trade war that could have a major impact on GDP growth in China. And in spite this trade frictions I expect that China's large merchandise trade surplus will expand over 2018-2022. Also, according to my expectations, the consumer prices will grow by an average of 2.6% per year in 2018-2022
At the moment most annalists emphasize that this year China are faced with threats and so called big worries: (a) US tax reform which result in capital flow from China into the US, (b) tightening of financial and environmental regulations, (c) slowdown of housing and infrastructure construction in 2018-2019
There are rumors that in light of china's currency depreciation, the central bank is likely to tighten liquidity. Obviously, it will raise further concerns in relation to the growth outlook of China. I explain: the US tax reform is underway, and once to be carried out this will cause interest rate increase in the US market, the will result in capital flow from China into the US and will ultimately weaken the yuan. Thus I think that GDP growth will slow.