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China, Germany: global outlook still clouded

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:53

China has vowed to contain high company debt levels and further cut excess coal and steel capacity, as Beijing attempts to maintain solid and more balanced economic growth. As David Pollard reports, it comes as Germany, one of China's key trading partners, says Chinese state interference could dampen its economic expectations.

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Two of the world's biggest exporters - one concern ... Growth may be on the rebound, but don't take it for granted. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) HEAD OF CHINA'S NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION, XU SHAOSHI, SAYING: "Although the domestic economy is stable and improving, it still faces contradictions and problems." (SOUNDBITE) (German) BDI PRESIDENT, DIETER KEMPF, SAYING: "The economic announcements by the incoming U.S. president represent a high level of uncertainty." In terms of GDP forecasts, the similarity ends. China expects 6.7 per cent for 2016 - in the middle of the government's target range. The 1.5 per cent the BDI has pencilled in for this year lower - but amid worries over China's outlook, perhaps more dependable. And German exports, it says, could increase by 2 to 3 per cent this year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "Germany looks as though economically it's in a fairly good place. If there's a blot on the landscape, apart from the China question, it may well be the elections which we expect later in the year." The China question, for Germany, is in fact two questions, according to the BDI. How much will state interference in German firms dampen activity ... And just how damaging could a new US president be to trade .... (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "Certainly in terms of the US markets, they've been pricing in good things for the US economy. But the likes of China, and whether there's going to be any sort of trade wars there, let alone what might happen elsewhere in Mexico, remains to be seen." China's other worries are internal. Government spending and state lending has fuelled a property boom. But this latest announcement says high levels of corporate debt must be reined in. A spike in producer prices could also point to rising speculation in commodities. Bubbles in overheating sectors an everpresent threat.

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China, Germany: global outlook still clouded

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:53