China’s growth: Your questions to Linda Yueh

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Linda Yueh
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Linda Yueh answered your questions on China

China is still growing at a rate that would make British Chancellor George Osborne green with envy.

But manufacturing is down and exports are weak, so there is a lot of talk and fear about China crashing.

On Monday, 13 May 2013 Linda Yueh, the BBC's new chief global business correspondent, reported live from China and answered your questions on her Twitter account.

Here is a selection of your questions and Linda's answers:

Question from @2binni: In China, the agriculture sector is shrinking. How could they manage the food security problem? Through imports?

Linda answers: China has little arable land & remaining agriculture is more efficient. But, they also invested in farmland overseas & have relied on imported food for a decade now.

Question from ‏@WillSeattle: Given that statistics from China are suspect, what % of GDP do you estimate is due to marriage? Buying an apartment for a weddings, etc. Trends?

Linda answers: Construction is 1/5 of all investment but it's hard to know how much housing has been bought by young men in order to set up house (a real academic study).

Question from @SandraLevy3: What products will China need to import?

Linda answers: Increasingly services & quality branded goods as well as higher tech goods. China has the potential to become a diversified market like the US.

Question from ‏@Ramseconomics: When will we see a banking / financial crisis in China & how bad will it be? It's the fall out from rapid credit growth, etc.

Linda answers: There is certainly a risk, especially with leveraged commercial property developers. It's only manageable so long as the Chinese government can recapitalize the banks without bankrupting itself.

Question from ‏@Hobbo2307: What proportion of Chinese actually have sufficient income to support developing a consumer led economy?

Linda answers: 150 million on the $10-100/day measure so just over 10% of the population. It's double that of India, but still low which means that there remains significant growth potential.

@Hobbo2307 asks a second question: What's the plan to shift China's wealth to the population without fostering corruption?

Linda answers: The new leaders seem keen to reform; the proof will be if China's income disparity falls to sustainable levels and the middle class grows.

Question from @FredericRoberts: By 2015, what percent will China have in global exports? Also, what tips could it give for small countries to emulate in order to grow their economies?

Linda answers: China has 10%, which is similar to the US and Germany. And, it is the world's largest exporter, so won't gain too much more market share. Best tip: manage the process of opening to the world economy and learn from the world's best practices.

Question from ‏@JDarrer: How reliable really are China's economic statistics? Do you think there is a property bubble in China?

Linda answers: Thanks for the 2 good questions, which I have answered in prior tweets.

Question from ‏@NobleFrancis: Is #China set for a significant house prices correction in the second half of 2013, especially with slowing credit?

Linda answers: House prices are moderating & likely to continue because the government is worried about a bubble caused by credit creation. The timing is a tough call.

Question from ‏@JurgaZ: We are seeing Chinese fund companies investing in the UK services sector. Will this investment switch to China under their growth plan?

Linda answers: Not likely, as China wants to invest overseas and learn from best practice in the world to help develop its services sector. It would be similar to how they utilised foreign investment in manufacturing to develop that sector.

Question from ‏@subbujois: Do you think income inequality and discrimination will cause social unrest through population relocation?

Linda answers: Inequality is at a level causing social resentment, according to the former World Bank Chief Economist Justin Yifu Lin. For China to grow whilst relying on its own market will depend on the rest of of the 1.3 billion people joining the middle class.

Question from ‏@IrnBruiser: Is this likely to have a detrimental or positive effect on the UK economy?

Linda answers: The UK is the world's 2nd biggest exporter of services after the US, so China growing its service sector is a positive if British companies can access China's growing market.

Question from ‏@pjpcfp: Are "official" GDP figures "unreliable" & is $23tn of credit in 4 years "sustainable"?

Linda answers: Chinese statistics suffer from 2 sources of bias: political upward bias but also under-measurement of the informal economy. Yes, the way that China's last fiscal stimulus programme unleashed signifiant amounts of credit was problematic.