Daily Management Review

Major Banks Downgrade China's 2023 GDP Predictions As The Recovery Stalls


After May statistics revealed that the post-COVID recovery in the second-largest economy in the world was faltering, several major banks lowered their 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections for China.
Nomura, a Japanese bank, announced in a note on Friday that it has lowered its projection for China's GDP growth in 2023 from 5.5% to 5.1%, after similar actions taken by UBS, Standard Chartered, Bank of America (BoA), and JPMorgan.
From an earlier range of 5.5% to 6.3%, the banks now forecast China's GDP growth to be between 5.1% and 5.7% this year.
Data released on Thursday revealed that China's economy struggled in May, with both industrial output and retail sales growth falling short of expectations. This raised concerns that Beijing would need to take additional measures to strengthen the wobbly post-pandemic recovery.
After failing miserably to meet its aim for 2022, the administration has set a moderate GDP growth target of about 5% for this year.
On Friday, UBS economists lowered their GDP projection from 5.7% to 5.2% and stated in a statement that they anticipated further policy support.
For the first time in ten months, China's central bank lowered the interest rate on its one-year medium-term lending facility on Thursday. This paved the way for decreases in the benchmark loan prime rates (LPR) the following week.
Standard Chartered economists revised down their growth prediction for 2023 from 5.8% to 5.4%.
"Additional stimulus likely to be measured, as China prioritises improving business climate and confidence," the economists said in a note.
China's second-quarter growth was predicted by Standard Chartered to expand by 5.8% rather than 7%. It is commonly anticipated that the low base of comparison from the extensive COVID-19 lockdowns a year prior will boost the April–June growth.
BofA lowered its estimate for 2023 GDP growth to 5.7% from 6.3%, while JPMorgan had already cut its prediction to 5.5% from 5.9%.
More stimulus will be implemented in China this year to help the economy grow at a slower pace, but officials will likely concentrate on boosting weak demand in the consumer and private sectors, according to individuals involved in policy deliberations.
In addition, BofA reduced its outlook to 5.0% from 5.2% and Nomura reduced its forecast for China's growth in 2024 to 3.9% from 4.2%.