The sheer size of the China trading relationship is why Australia has to share its feasts and famines with Beijing | Satyajit Das

Concentration on security and regional influence has distracted from the economic relationship with China, a key foundation of Australian prosperity. A high proportion of Chinese growth has been engineered by a large government-sponsored debt-fuelled infrastructure and property bender. This underpins demand for Australian products and services boosting incomes. The data on bilateral trade reveals the importance of the China relationship. Despite trade restrictions on selected products, 35 to 40% of Australian exports go to China, and 20% of imports come from China. Chinese nationals normally constitute the largest number of…

‘Do whatever it takes’: Beijing urged to act as China’s economy falters

At a recent online gathering of top Chinese economists, a palpable sense of urgency filled the virtual meeting room. In recent weeks, a slew of reports by Chinese and foreign economists pointed to a deteriorating economy. Outside the country, talk of China being the engine of global economic growth no longer convinces. During the meeting Huang Yiping, a Peking University professor and a former central bank adviser, urged Beijing to “do whatever it takes to save the economy”. Huang was paraphrasing a line from the height of the European debt…

US stock markets fall sharply as investors worry about recession

The wild ride on the US stock markets continued on Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking more than 1,100 points as investors worried about a looming recession. All of the major US markets fell sharply, with the S&P closing down 4%, its largest fall since June 2020, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq losing 4.7%. On Tuesday markets had rallied following positive news about consumer spending and signs that China was relaxing its strict Covid-19 lockdowns. Just a day later concerns about an economic slowdown triggered a wide-ranging sell-off. The…

US sues casino mogul Steve Wynn to compel him to register as an agent of China

The US Department of Justice on Tuesday sued Steve Wynn, the billionaire former casino mogul and senior Republican fund raiser, to compel him to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as an agent of China. The department said Wynn, 80, had contacted then-US president Donald Trump and members of his Republican administration in 2017 to convey China’s request to cancel the visa of or otherwise remove a Chinese businessperson who had sought political asylum in the United States. In a statement the Department of Justice said it was seeking…

Europe’s growth forecast cut as Ukraine war drives up inflation; diesel price hits record – as it happened

Closing summary Time for a recap Concerns over the global economic recovery have continued to mount, after China’s economic activity plummeted, and eurozone growth forecasts were cut. China’s retail sales tumbled by over 11% in April, while industrial production contracted by 2.9% — both the worst readings since the early months of the pandemic in 2020. Unemployment rose, while property sales saw their biggest slump since August 2006. Analysts warned that China’s economy could shrink this quarter, as Covid-19 lockdowns continued to hit consumer spending and factory output. The EC…

China’s struggle delights some – but should make us all nervous | Larry Elliott

China has been central to the story of globalisation over the past 30 years but now it is struggling. More than two years after Covid-19 cases were discovered in Wuhan, the world’s most populous country has yet to get on top of the virus. Draconian lockdowns have been imposed because China’s vaccines are less effective than those available in the west, and immunity levels are lower as well. Growth is slowing and not just because of the tough restrictions insisted upon by President Xi Jinping. Flaws in China’s economic model…

As tensions rise between east and west, will HSBC be torn apart?

When Mark Tucker arrived as HSBC’s new chairman on a cloudy London day in October 2017, he was prepared for a challenge. The former insurance boss was the first outsider to lead the now 157-year-old bank, which was in the middle of a period of intense upheaval. HSBC was slimming down its investment bank, selling poorly performing businesses and slashing thousands of jobs as it tried to adapt to the post-financial-crisis era. While Tucker was well equipped to guide the lender through that period of turmoil, he must now wrestle…

Coalition accused of stalling ban on imports made using slave labour

The Morrison government has been accused of stalling action to prevent the importation of goods made using slave labour, as it insists it needs more time to consult business and upgrade IT systems. Despite repeatedly raising concerns about forced labour practices in China’s Xinjiang region, the government has cited “practical challenges” in a new report explaining why it cannot immediately take up recommendations of a bipartisan committee. Anti-slavery campaigners say they are “disillusioned that the ‘fair go’ values we hold as a people are not reflected in this government response”.…

Risk of recession in Europe, US and China is rising by the day | Kenneth Rogoff

Is the global economy flying into a perfect storm, with Europe, China, and the US all entering downturns at the same time later this year? The risks of a global recession trifecta are rising by the day. A recession in Europe is almost inevitable if the war in Ukraine escalates, and Germany, which has been fiercely resisting calls to pull the plug on Russian oil and gas, finally relents. China is finding it increasingly difficult to sustain positive growth in the face of draconian Covid-19 lockdowns, which have already brought…

The world’s engines are spluttering: IMF points to deeper problems beyond 2022

The International Monetary Fund’s revised World Economic Outlook is sobering. It is rare for the organisation to revise down sharply its projections for economic growth only one quarter into the calendar year. Yet in this case, it has done so for 86% of its 190 member countries, resulting in a decline of almost one percentage point in global growth for 2022 – from 4.4% to 3.6%. Moreover, this forecast is accompanied by a significant increase in projected inflation, and all this bad news is packaged in a wrapping of deeper…

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