China debt VCG/Getty Images

China’s Corporate-Debt Challenge

Next month, when China hosts the G20 meeting in Hangzhou, its voice will be one of the loudest calling for structural reforms to stimulate growth in advanced and emerging-market economies. But China faces its own hazards: above all, domestic credit is expanding at an unsustainable pace, with corporate debt reaching dangerous levels.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Chinese economy has slowed in recent years, but it is still a strong performer, contributing about one-third of total economic growth worldwide. It is also becoming more sustainable, in line with the shift in its growth model away from investment and exports and toward domestic demand and services.

In the run-up to next month’s G20 summit in Hangzhou, China has been calling loudly for new commitments to structural reforms to stimulate growth in advanced and emerging-market economies. But China faces serious risks at home. Above all, domestic credit continues to expand at an unsustainable pace, with corporate debt accumulating to dangerous levels.

According to the International Monetary Fund’s recently published annual report on the Chinese economy, credit is growing about twice as fast as output. It is rising rapidly in both the non-financial private sector and in an expanding, interconnected financial sector that remains opaque. Moreover, while credit growth is high by international standards – a key indicator of a potential crisis – its ability to spur further growth is diminishing.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/tVADsfP;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.