Judging by the ongoing sluggishness in China’s trade, manufacturing, investment and consumption, that growth rate is likely to drop further in the coming months and what is now the world’s second-largest economy is likely to expand at its slowest annual pace this year since 1999.
In contrast to the optimism of many international attendees in Tianjin this is what one highly respected Chinese economist told the FT:
“I believe China is going to experience a very serious economic downturn and I think it has already started. The government is trying now to stabilize the economy but the instruments they have are very limited. If it can’t turn things around then I expect huge and widespread social unrest.”
The striking views of this economist, who asked not to be named because he did not want to offend his superiors in the Communist party, are surprisingly common among Chinese academics and officials who just a couple of years ago were still very bullish on the country’s prospects.