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China Economic Watch

This blog monitors ongoing developments in China's economy, analyzes the impact of policy changes, and informs readers about new PIIE research on China.

Recent Posts

As China’s Capital Outflow Quickens, Will the RMB Depreciate?

by | March 2nd, 2015 | 09:10 am

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) released Q4 2014 preliminary balance of payments (BOP) data in early February. While China still maintained an overall balance-of-payments surplus last year, the surplus dropped sharply to $117.8 billion, less than one third of the 2013 level. Most significantly, China registered a $91 billion capital and financial account […]

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China Chart of the Week: Anticorruption in China

by | February 27th, 2015 | 06:02 pm

Earlier this week, the Central Commission for Discipline (中共中央纪律检查委员会) released data on the number of investigations and punishments carried out in January 2015. The headline is striking: the number of investigations declined by over 60% from December 2014 and is 62% lower than the monthly average of 2014. The decline is due to a change […]

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Chart of the Week: Australia, New Zealand, and the Chinese Dairy Market

by | February 12th, 2015 | 11:02 am

Last November, China and Australia announced China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, under negotiation since 2005, will be signed in 2015.  As we previously wrote about here, one important clause in this FTA stipulates China will eliminate most tariffs on Australian dairy products.  In 2008, China and New Zealand signed a similar FTA, opening up the Chinese market […]

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China’s Current Account in 2014

by | February 8th, 2015 | 08:32 am

China’s current account surplus as a percent of GDP remained steady in 2014 at just over 2 percent (China’s GDP in 2014 was $10.3 trillion at the market exchange rate).  This is in line with what international observers feel is acceptable bounds, less than 3 percent of GDP.  Its trade surplus rose slightly to 2.7 […]

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Apple and Xiaomi Take on China

by | February 3rd, 2015 | 01:32 pm

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, it isn’t always easy for US companies, particularly tech companies, to break into the Chinese market.  However, in revealing its fourth quarter sales numbers, Apple has successfully become the largest smartphone maker in terms of units shipped within China.  Over the past 10 years, Apple’s revenue in the Asia […]

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China Chart of the Week: The IMF’s Falling Forecast for China

by | February 2nd, 2015 | 02:28 pm

In April 2011, the IMF forecast the Chinese economy would grow at a yearly rate of 9.46% in 2015. That projection has now been cut by nearly one third (2.7 percentage points), with January’s forecast for this year at 6.8%. The chart below shows that growth forecasts for both 2015 and 2016 have been consistently revised […]

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China Chart of the Week: Inequality Continues A Steady Decline

by | January 30th, 2015 | 09:00 am

Earlier this month China released its preliminary 2014 economic indicators including the latest reading on China’s gini coefficient as a measure of income inequality. It showed inequality has been on a steady decline now for six consecutive years. After reaching a peak of 0.49 in 2008 China’s gini coefficient is now only 0.47. However, before […]

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China Rebalancing Update – Q4 2014

by | January 29th, 2015 | 08:00 am

With all the relevant economic data out, we can now update our rebalancing indicators for the fourth quarter of 2014: Disposable Income Growing Faster than Per Capita GDP We have revised our benchmark to take population growth into account with real per capita GDP growth rather than just looking at real GDP growth. We have […]

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China Chart of the Week: Chinese Firms Top Forbes 2000

by | January 28th, 2015 | 02:41 pm

The Forbes Global 2000 companies list, which ranks the top 2000 largest public companies annually, was notable in 2014 because for the first time, three Chinese banks (ICBC, China Construction Bank, and Agribultural Bank of China) topped the list.  In 2006, there were no Chinese firms in even the top 50 companies.  Between 2006 and […]

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Deleveraging the State in China

by | January 26th, 2015 | 03:40 pm

Corporate leverage has grown rapidly in recent years in the state sector. If the government remains committed to its policy of moderating the growth of credit, as economic growth slows, this could lead to the partial privatization of state assets. Corporate deleveraging is not without precedent in China. In the 1990s China’s industrial sector was […]

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