Domestic consumption

Consumers purchase pork in supermarkets in Taiyuan, Shanxi, 9 November 2022. On the same day, China's consumer price index (CPI) in October, released by the National Bureau of Statistics, rose 2.1% year-on-year, 0.7 percentage points lower than last month. (China News Agency/Zhang Yun)

Inflation under control in China, but rising pork prices says otherwise

Despite the wave of interest rate increases from central banks globally, China has gone the other way and cut borrowing cost, signalling a control in inflation in the country. But food prices, in particular pork products, have been soaring, and the continued weak domestic demand amid ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and a crisis of confidence among consumers worried about jobs and wages, pose major risks to China's economic stability.
Li-Ning's Fall/Winter collection included some looks reminiscent of WWII Japanese army uniforms. (Li-Ning/Weibo)

Chinese netizens chastise Li-Ning for Japanese military-style fashion

Some outfits at a showcase of Li-Ning’s Fall/Winter collection said to resemble uniforms worn by the Japanese military during their invasion of China have sparked a wave of controversy, and this is made worse by the fact that a member of Li-Ning’s senior management is Japanese-Chinese. Are the Chinese netizens too sensitive or is Li-Ning too insensitive?
People use umbrellas as they walk along Qianmen street in Beijing, China, on 18 August 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Why Chinese youths are not spending

Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong notes that consumer spending attitudes have changed since the pandemic, especially among Chinese youths — the biggest spending market. This spells a more difficult road to recovery for China’s ailing economy.
A worker walks on a scaffolding at a construction site of an apartment building under refurbishment in Beijing, China, 20 July 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Export slowdown reveals cracks in one of China’s economic pillars

With China’s economy already facing drags from consumer spending and the real estate sector, the slowdown in goods exports poses a significant problem as they make up a sizeable share of the country's GDP. Will Beijing reconsider some of the policies such as its zero-Covid policy, tech sector crackdown, and restrictions on real estate?
Workers at a construction site for the World Expo Cultural Park in Shanghai, China, on 27 September 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China's slowing economy will not deter BRI outreach

Despite challenges arising from the slowing Chinese economy, China is likely to continue pushing forward on the BRI, it being a key plank of President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. Along the way, however, it will have to make certain adjustments for a smooth transition into BRI 2.0.
A worker pushes a trolley along a road outside a construction site at the central business district in Beijing, China, on 8 July 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Has China’s monetary policy reached its limit?

China's central bank is scrambling to increase demand for borrowing by using nearly every instrument in its toolbox. But the impact has so far been limited, as Chinese companies and households are trapped in a crisis of confidence in the economy amid slowing growth and the impact of strict anti-Covid measures. What more can China do to save the economy?
A man buys a soft drink from a vendor in the Bund promenade along the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China, on 23 August 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Street vendors making a comeback in Shanghai to boost ailing economy?

While still reeling from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Shanghai has loosened its regulations on the street stall economy. Some believe that the move will breathe life back into the stalled city, while others think it is a stopgap that will do little to help its domestic economy bounce back. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing tells us more.
Workers work at a demolition site, following the Covid-19 outbreak, in Shanghai, China, 9 September 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

[Future of China] China's economy now and in the future

Amid the difficulties in analysing and forecasting macroeconomic conditions, economist Chen Kang likens their changes to a unique game of tug of war between the bulls and the bears — in which economic reforms, policies and outcomes are interpreted differently among the players, and the current outcome encapsulates the people’s aggregate response. However, the big question is whether China will press on with economic reforms despite all the challenges. This is the third in a five-part series of articles on the future of China.
This aerial photo taken on 21 July 2022 shows a bucket wheel machine tranferring coal at a coal storage centre in Jiujiang, in China's central Jiangxi province. (AFP)

Sichuan power crunch sparks calls for rethink of coal in China's energy mix

Extreme weather and declining water levels at hydropower reservoirs in Sichuan are sparking worries of a power crunch across China. This has forced electricity cuts to businesses and households in the province of 84 million people, along with loud calls for a rethink of coal in the nation’s energy mix, putting a spanner in the works of its goal to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030.