Reorient Group’s chief China economist Steve Wang predicts more “trade stabilizing” measures from China as export growth struggles to sustain the first quarter’s 4.9% growth. In a note to clients, Wang wrote today:
“Chinese exporters are losing orders,” a spokesman from China Customs cautioned reporters at Monday’s press briefing. That’s a truthful statement and reflects the gatekeeping agency’s latest finding that nearly half (47.3 % in March) of the 3,000 exporters it polls regularly are seeing shrinking foreign orders vs. a year ago. That’s up from a low of 40% just a few months ago. Barring a meaningful turnaround from destination economies, the latest data is a somber reminder that China may find it extremely difficult to sustain the 1Q hard-earned 5% export growth into 2Q. On a policy front, that has to mean the government will be compelled to roll out more trade “stabilizing” policies including but not limited to acceleration of the One Belt One Road strategy and a proliferation of FTZ (free trade zone) reform initiatives. That’s music to the market’s ears.