September 21, 2018
Former Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan suggested on Wednesday that the direct impact on China of the trade war with the US “appears limited,” though it could quickly prompt China’s top exporters to pivot away from US markets. Xiaochuan, who left the bank in March after 15 years at the helm, told Reuters that China’s economy would be stable in 2018, with an expected growth rate of 6.5%, but needed to shift away from an economic model based on “urbanization,” or constructing ghost cities.
However, the main risk to the global economy is protectionism according to the ex-PBOC head. The costs of protectionism could hit the US the hardest, as Chinese firms are expected to withdraw from US markets and expand into other global economies:“I think it will force China to look at many other markets. So it’s not necessarily a good thing for the United States,” he said.
“I think the speed of (geographical) diversification can be relatively fast and beyond many people’s expectations.”
Reuters said Xiaochuan downplayed the idea that protectionism will severely affect economic growth in China, which he said had been estimated at 0.2-0.8% of GDP, but added that trade wars are creating uncertainties and could hurt business confidence.
Xiaochuan is right, in the latest US Economic Outlook via Barclays, US Economist Michael Gapen revealed that global growth momentum is already slowing.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Gapen also showed that global trade volume as a share of world GDP has likely reached a turning point into a protectionist era.
As a result of the peak in “hyper-globalization”, China is being forced to change its growth strategy after many decades. The economic driver of supplying Western markets with cheap goods and constructing ghost cities in China are over. “Whether this is reaching the peak or has peaked and maybe…