Construction still drives China’s growth but sustainability concerns remain: NAB

Construction still drives China’s growth but sustainability concerns remain: NAB
Construction still drives China’s growth but sustainability concerns remain: NAB

Construction continues to be the mainstay of China’s economy -- flowing through to heavy industries such as steel and cement -- but the rebound is not sustainable, according to NAB's latest commentary on the country's growth outlook.

The NAB Group Economics report titled China’s economy at a glance, says new construction starts rose by 16 percent year-on-year (yoy) over the first five months of the year – with lower growth in May than March and April. But May's slower growth was largely due to base effects.

NAB says the construction rebound is not sustainable, with recovery in house prices largely driven by policy relaxation, loose credit and the poor performance of alternative investment options for individuals – re-inflating the property bubble that had previously deflated to a degree across 2014 and 2015.

Among other economic factors, growth in industrial production was unchanged in May at 6 percent yoy – in line with market expectations.

Fixed asset investment was softer in May, with trends mixed at a sub-sector level – with an acceleration in real estate investment, while investment in manufacturing continued to trend lower.

China’s trade surplus widened in May to US$50 billion (from US$45.6 billion previously) due to a month-on-month increase in exports. Price effects continue to influence trade values – with commodity imports increasing strongly in May – particularly construction related iron ore and copper.

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Construction still drives China’s growth but sustainability concerns remain: NAB

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Construction still drives China’s growth but sustainability concerns remain: NAB

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China Commercial Investment

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