China's "Wildly Imbalanced" Economy Is Heading For "Severe, Protracted" Slump

Having previously explained how China's hard landing has begun, former ABN AMRO chief investment stratgist Richard Duncan warns of a "severe and protracted" slump is ahead as "this enormous gap between investment and consumption means China’s economy is now wildly unbalanced."

Duncan has published a series of videos explaining why, in his opinion, China’s economic development model of export-led and investment-driven growth is now in crisis.

“Perhaps not since the Pharaohs built the pyramids with slave labour has investment made up such a large share of a country’s economy and household consumption made up so little,” Duncan said. “This enormous gap between investment and consumption means China’s economy is now wildly unbalanced.”

Underscoring the scale of China’s reliance on investment as an engine of growth, consider how much it has ramped up spending in this area in just a few short years, compared to that of the US, the world’s largest economy. In 2014, investment in the US was US$177 billion higher than 2007, a growth rate of 6%. In 2014, the level of investment in China was US$3.2 trillion more than it was in 2007, representing growth of 236 per cent.

The South China Morning Post brings you the second video in that series (part 1 here).


A former Hong Kong-based banking analyst, Duncan has also worked as an analyst at the World Bank, and as global head of investment strategy at ABN AMRO Asset Management in London. He has authored three books on the global economic crisis, including The Dollar Crisis: Causes, Consequences, Cures. He is now chief economist at the Singapore-based hedge fund Blackhorse Asset Management. Duncan was also a speaker at last week’s Asian Leadership Forum in Seoul, South Korea. The South China Morning Post was a media partner to the event. He runs the blog Macro Watch, a subscription-based website providing analysis on global economic trends.

Source: The South China Morning Post