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Economy still on even keel, say experts

2020-2-4 11:44

 

SIIS report: Importance of resilience as a key factor cannot be underestimated

The impact from the novel coronavirus outbreak will be short-term and not leave any lasting scars on the robust Chinese economy, leading economists said on Monday.

Xu Dingbo, a senior economist at the China Europe International Business School, said recent decision of the World Health Organization to term the virus outbreak as a global emergency will not lead to a substantial increase in China's economic risks, due to the central authorities' timely intervention measures.

The WHO on Thursday declared the novel coronavirus epidemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC, citing confirmations of human-to-human infections in other countries.

"The most effective way to reduce any potential impact on the economy is to keep the epidemic under control since the PHEIC status will become due within three months and the WHO could change it at anytime, depending on the subsequent developments," said Xu. "Meanwhile, the central authorities have spared no efforts in restoring the business confidence."

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, launched a slew of measures on Saturday to stabilize the economy, including credit easing and liquidity injection, especially for private, small and micro enterprises as well as manufacturing companies.

According to a report published by the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS), 27.3 billion yuan ($4 billion) had been provided by governments across all levels as subsidies for controlling the epidemic as of Jan 29.

"The epidemic will drag down the first-quarter GDP growth by 1 percentage point, based on our primary calculations," said Xu Gao, chief economist with Bank of China International Ltd. "If China can keep the epidemic well under control in February, the overall impact on the annual GDP growth rate will be limited, probably around 0.2 percentage point."

The epidemic, Xu stressed, does not curtail all economic activities but only changes the patterns. The restrained consumption demand, such as travel and shopping, will see an obvious rebound once the epidemic is over, he said.

"The growth potential of China's economy is yet to be released, and there are still many policies the government can implement," Xu said.

Lukman Otunuga, a senior research analyst with FXTM, an international foreign exchange platform, echoed similar views.

"We expect the epidemic's economic impact to be short-lived," said Otunuga. "However, considering the expected decline in production, dampened retail activities, as well as travel restrictions, the cautionary mood over the global economic outlook appears warranted for the time being."

China's better-than-expected expansion in its January non-manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index, along with the efforts by the authorities to contain the virus outbreak, will help push back against some of the fears surrounding the epidemic's impact on the country's economy, Otunuga said.

"Most of the negative shocks would reverse once it becomes clear that the virus can be effectively contained and sentiment impact fades," said David Wang, head of China economics at Credit Suisse, a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company.

However, the virus outbreak may also have some long-term impact. The quarantining of cities is unprecedented and will trigger a supply-side shock by negatively impacting labor productivity of Hubei in particular and surrounding provinces in general, the experts said.

"For supply-side shocks, recovery to the pre-outbreak level might take longer," Wang from Credit Suisse said.

According to the SIIS report, the novel coronavirus epidemic poses direct harm to three main sectors: the service sector, especially consumer industries such as tourism, catering, entertainment and logistics; the manufacturing sector, typically mobile phones, automobiles and electronic industries since Wuhan is a manufacturing center in China and there is no definite timeframe for resumption of operations, which may disrupt the global industrial chains to some extent; and the trade sector, due to potential cuts or even shutdown of airlines, sea routes and borders by some countries as a result of the prevailing panic or geopolitical considerations.

"Labor-intensive enterprises and small-and medium-sized enterprises may suffer more, given the epidemic's impact on the supply of migrant workers and logistics services," said Zhang Haibing, director of the Institute of Global Governance of the SIIS.

Nevertheless, the resilience of China's economy cannot be underestimated. Even in the short term, the epidemic is not just about negative effects on the economy, as it has also benefitted industries such as electronic commerce, online games and entertainment, as well as medical services, the SIIS report said.

"In the long run, the epidemic cannot undermine the nation's huge potential in consumption, urbanization, and emerging industries such as 5G and artificial intelligence as it (China) is the second-largest economy in the world," said Zhang.

 

SIIS报告:恢复力作为一个关键因素的重要性不容低估


主要经济学家周一表示,新型冠状病毒爆发的影响将是短期的,不会给强劲的中国经济留下任何持久的伤痕。


中欧国际工商学院(China Europe International Business School)高级经济学家徐定波表示,世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)最近决定将甲型h1n1流感疫情列为全球紧急事件,由于中央政府及时采取干预措施,这不会导致中国经济风险大幅增加。


世卫组织周四宣布,这一新型冠状病毒疫情为国际关注的突发公共卫生事件,并援引其他国家的人传人感染证实。


“减少对经济的任何潜在影响的最有效方法是控制疫情,因为在三个月内将到期的PHEIC状态和世卫组织可以随时改变,这取决于后续的发展,”徐说。“与此同时,中央政府不遗余力地恢复企业信心。”


中国人民银行周六推出了一系列稳定经济的措施,包括放松信贷和流动性注入,尤其是对私营、小微企业和制造业企业。


据上海国际问题研究所(SIIS)发布的一份报告显示,截至1月29日,各级政府为控制疫情提供了273亿元(40亿美元)的补贴。


中国银行国际有限公司首席经济学家许高表示:“根据我们的初步计算,这一疫情将拖累中国第一季度GDP增长1个百分点。”“如果中国能在2月份很好地控制疫情,对年度GDP增长率的整体影响将是有限的,可能在0.2个百分点左右。”


徐强调,这种流行病并没有限制所有的经济活动,只是改变了模式。他表示,一旦疫情结束,旅游和购物等受到抑制的消费需求将出现明显反弹。


“中国经济的增长潜力尚未释放,政府还有很多政策可以执行,”徐说。


国际外汇交易平台FXTM的高级研究分析师卢克曼•奥图努加(Lukman Otunuga)也表达了类似观点。


奥图努加说:“我们预计疫情对经济的影响是短暂的。“然而,考虑到预期的产量下降、零售活动受到抑制以及旅游限制,对全球经济前景的警惕情绪目前看来是有道理的。”


奥图努加说,中国1月份非制造业采购经理人指数(pmi)好于预期的扩张,以及政府为控制疫情爆发所做的努力,将有助于缓解人们对疫情对中国经济影响的一些担忧。


瑞士跨国投资银行和金融服务公司瑞信(Credit Suisse)中国经济部主管王伟(David Wang)表示:“一旦病毒得到有效控制、市场情绪的影响消退,大多数负面冲击将会逆转。”


然而,病毒爆发也可能产生一些长期影响。专家表示,城市隔离是前所未有的,它将对湖北特别是周边省份的劳动生产率产生负面影响,从而引发供给侧冲击。


“对于供应方面的冲击,恢复到爆发前的水平可能需要更长的时间,”瑞士信贷的王说。


根据SIIS的报告,新型冠状病毒的流行对三个主要行业造成了直接危害:服务业,尤其是旅游、餐饮、娱乐和物流等消费行业;武汉是中国的制造中心,没有明确的恢复生产的时间表,制造业尤其是手机、汽车和电子行业,可能会在一定程度上扰乱全球产业链;还有贸易部门,由于普遍的恐慌或地缘政治考虑,一些国家可能会削减甚至关闭航空公司、航线和边境。


SIIS全球治理研究所所长张海兵表示:“考虑到疫情对农民工供应和物流服务的影响,劳动密集型企业和中小企业可能会受到更大影响。”


然而,中国经济的弹性不容低估。SIIS的报告称,即使在短期内,疫情也不仅仅是对经济的负面影响,它还使电子商务、网络游戏和娱乐以及医疗服务等行业受益。

 

张说:“从长远来看,由于中国是世界第二大经济体,这种流行病不会破坏中国在消费、城市化、5G和人工智能等新兴产业方面的巨大潜力。”

 

原作者: Hu Yuanyuan 来自: china daily