China's economic development is beginning slowly

February 16, 2023: -Migrant workers have mostly returned to work following China’s most important holiday of the year, and children went back to school this week.

But preliminary data indicate overall growth is not roaring back on all cylinders till now, despite mainland China which ends its Covid controls in early December.

For instance, official loan data showed year-on-year growth in loans to businesses but a sharp decrease in that to households.

“The mixed data send a message that firms should not be too bullish about increase this year,” Nomura’s chief China Economist Ting Lu stated in a report.

“This pattern has wealthy implications for many asset classes and commodity types; tracking these high-frequency data is warranted,” he said.

The Nomura report said that road and subway traffic in the places is back over pre-pandemic levels in 2019, citing mid-February data. The report stat that turnover in freight transport is still decreasing from a year ago.

It pointed out that recent home sales remained below the previous year’s levels, being dragged down by decreased sales in mid-sized cities and weighing on construction activity.

Sluggish demand for mortgages is showing up in a steeper drop in medium- and long-term household loans than in short-term ones.

The “unemployment rate is increased, which keeps household confidence sad,” Zhiwei Zhang, president and chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, stated in a note about January’s loan data. “I’d anticipate household confidence to improve as well in the coming months, but it will be a gradual process.”

China’s National Bureau of Statistics is not taking a pause out of retail sales, industrial production or fixed asset investment information for January because of distortions from the Lunar New Year. The holiday dates on the Gregorian calendar vary each year.

Therefore, the bureau removed inflation information for January, showing tepid demand as consumer costs went up by nearly 2.1% from a year ago, less than analysts had anticipated, which excludes food and energy, the core consumer price index, which increases by 1% in January, which is developed at a similar speed as June 2022.

The producer cost index that measures factory input costs dropped by 0.8% in January from a year ago, over the 0.5% decline forecast by a Reuters poll.

On Monday, one more sign of decreased global demand, China’s yuan reached a five-week low against the U.S. dollar following data showing South Korea’s average daily exporting for the first ten days of February fell by 14.5% after being adjusted for the Lunar New Year holiday.

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