China, Europe central banks contrast starkly
By Alan Wheatley, ReutersLONDON--As central banks in the eurozone and Britain edge closer this week to deciding that their flagging economies need yet more monetary stimulus, they can be forgiven for casting an envious eye toward China.
March 5, 2013, 12:35 am TWN
The same goes for the United States. Because of deadlock in budget talks, mandatory federal spending cuts are now being phased. They will brake a recovery that, as Friday's jobs report is likely to show, is already frustratingly weak.
China, the biggest contributor to global growth in recent years, has plenty of headaches of its own, of course.
Over reliance on investment in heavy industry, a financial system rigged in favor of the state, and a failure to integrate some 140 million rural migrant workers into urban life top the list of structural problems.
Louis Kuijs, an economist with Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong, adds rising inflation, a renewed climb in house prices and a rapid expansion in “shadow banking” to the government's to-do list for 2013.
But Kuijs and other economists expect outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao to reaffirm a growth target of 7.5 percent for this year when he delivers his last 'state of the nation' report to the annual meeting of parliament that opens on Tuesday.
China entered 2013 with solid growth momentum thanks to measured policy stimulus in the second half of last year. That impetus is now fading somewhat after a strong fourth quarter, as figures for January and February will probably suggest.
So, just as the West is looking to China to boost global demand, China is counting on a pick-up in the West as 2013 unfolds to help exports and revive corporate investment, Kuijs said.