…is being made about the People’s Republic of China’s slowing economic growth rate.
The Chinese economy has suffered a loss of momentum in the second quarter, with the GDP falling to 6.2% from a 6.4% expansion in the first three months of the year, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.
This is the slowest growth rate in 27 years, goes the alarm. That’s supposed to apply pressure to the PRC to start negotiating seriously with the US on trade. In truth, it does add some pressure, but it’s necessary to keep in mind a couple of other things, too.
One is that slowing growth is, still, growth, and a 6.2% growth rate still is one of the highest economic growth rates in the world, albeit that rate comes against one of the lowest baselines in the world.
Another is that the PRC’s government, led by President Xi Jinping and his Communist Party of China henchmen, is willing to inflict more pain and economic (read: standard of living) damage on its people than are most Western governments on theirs.
The tariff pressure being applied to the PRC is both necessary and having serious effects. Producers are moving their sourcing from the PRC and shifting it to other nations around the Pacific, some to the US, others to Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and so on. And that slowdown in growth rate is real and a continuing trend.
It’s just that the struggle to get the PRC to deal honestly with the rest of us in trade, intellectual property, and technology will not be over quickly, nor will any of us enjoy it. But we must stay the course.