China Panel Survey

Growth temperature rises in the Chinese economy to 6.4 in April – up from last December

Thursday, May 11th, 2017


From the end of April until the beginning of May, we prepared our traditional spring survey on the business climate and economic conditions in China. We try to find out more about the Chinese business cycle and some important structural issues.  We received again answers from around 15 independent China experts from Asia, the U.S. and Europe – thanks!

¤   Our so-called Temperature Indicator for the Chinese economy improved to 6.4 in April/May compared to 5.2 in December last year (on a scale 1-10; 10=very hot).

¤   The panel expects GDP growth in 2017 and 2018 to remain quite stable compared to 6.7 in 2016 (2017: 6.5 %, 2017q4: 6.3 %, 2018:6.0 % – based on official statistics).

¤   The panel’s GDP forecast on China for 2017 and 2018 includes the assumption of an ongoing gradual but relatively modest upswing in the OECD area as a whole.

¤   75 % of the panelists have rather a downward bias in their forecasts than vice versa.

¤   There are almost no appreciation expectations anymore for the Chinese currency RMB.

¤   90 % of the panelists still see a bubble on the real estate market.

¤   Ranking of some structural areas in China (scale 1-10, 10 = very good): statistics 3.9, institutions 5.3,  marketization of a) banks 4.1, b) stock markets 4.0, c) bond markets 4.4.

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Hubert Fromlet
Affiliate Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University
Editorial board


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LNU’s China Panel No 22 – December 28, 2016

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Temperature Indicator rises – but no real progress


Between November 22 and December 16, we made our regular fall/winter survey on business conditions in China. More than 15 prominent China experts participated, coming from Europe, North America and Asia.

¤  Our so-called growth-temperature indicator for the Chinese economy rose this time from 4.0 in spring this year to 5.2 (on a scale from 10 = very good, to 1 = very bad). Despite this improvement, 5.2 is reflecting one of the weakest numbers since the survey started in 2004.

¤  For 2017, our panel sees GDP growth at 6.1 percent which is slightly below consensus and official forecasts at around 6 ½ percent. Even 6.1 percent would probably be still acceptable for China’s political leadership – but not lower than this. Only 29 percent think that planned reforms from the Third Plenum in 2013 are on track.

¤  More than 90 percent of the participants believe that there is still a dangerous price bubble on the Chinese real estate market – but not really on the stock market (23 percent).

¤  The three major short-term concerns for the next few years are (ranked):
debt/non-performing loans, bursting housing bubble, persisting overcapacity in industry.

¤  General confidence in the Chinese economy in the forthcoming five years is located at 2.6 (scale 5 to 1, 5=very good). This is slightly weaker than in February 2016 (3.0), reflecting somewhat increasing doubts about China’s economic future more recently.



Read the full article here. chinapanelsurveydecember2016.pdf

Hubert Fromlet
Senior Professor of International Economics, Linnaeus University
Editorial board


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LNU’s China Panel No 21 – February 23, 2016

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

“Our (Growth-)Temperature Indicator Falls to 4.0 – the Second Lowest Ever ”

Between January 8 and February 4, we made our regular winter survey on growth conditions in China. The structural part of our survey is addressed this time in the beginning of the year – and not, as usual, in spring. Almost 20 China experts participated, coming from Europa, North America and Asia. Best thanks to all of them!

¤ Our so-called temperature indicator for the Chinese economy fell visibly to 4.0 from 4.3 last spring. This is only 0.1 percentage point above our all-time low in spring 2009.

¤ There is a slight downward revision for GDP growth in 2016 (to 6.3 from 6.5 % last May, based on official statistics for 2015) – with some downward bias. 6.3 percent is probably quite close to the lower limit of what officials currently can accept. But the quality of GDP growth is considered by China’s top politicians as more important than the pure numbers. The main contribution to GDP growth in 2016 is expected to come from consumption.

¤ The panel also identified the three biggest short-term problems: 1) financial markets (generally), 2) debt problems, 3) weaker currency (RMB).

¤ Some structural issues (scale 1 – 10, 10 = very good) on
a) quality of economic statistics: 3.7
b) quality of corporate accounting: 3.5
c) transparency of financial markets: 3.5
d) marketization of the banking system: 3.8
e) marketization of the stock market: 3.7
f) marketization of the bond market: 4.5


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Download the full report here, ChinaPanelSurveyFebruary2016.pdf

Hubert Fromlet
Senior Professor of International Economics, Linnaeus University
Editorial board


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