Jul 31, 2023, 10:43am EDT
businessEast Asia

What experts make of China’s economic slowdown

REUTERS/David Kirton

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The News

With export orders shrinking, China’s factory activity contracted for a fourth month, while non-manufacturing activity slowed to its weakest rate this year.

We’ve curated reporting and expert insights on how the latest figures reflect China’s protracted economic slowdown.

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  • Youth employment could be as high as 46.5%, Zhang Dandan, an Associate Professor of Economics at Peking University, wrote in a column on Caixin. This figure includes 16 million non-students relying on their parents for financial support or “lying flat” at home. There are several reasons for this, Zhang wrote –– such as the rollout of intensive regulatory policies that are hindering efforts by new graduates to join the workforce. The use of artificial intelligence has also shrunk the number of white-collar jobs — including those in sales, finance, and translation — available to highly-educated workers.
  • Despite shrinking exports, Chinese stocks rose today as Beijing is shoring up confidence by claiming it will boost support for entrepreneurs and favored sectors such as electric vehicles. “The government’s stance has clearly turned more supportive,” said Vey-Sern Ling, the Managing Director of Union Bancaire Privee, adding that China will back up stimulus talk with concrete measures.
  • However, one China columnist argued that the country was overconfident about the future prospects of its economy. The Wall Street Journal’s Nathaniel Taplin wrote that China was merely offering “rhetorical support” for business owners and consumers, instead of rolling out “the big monetary and fiscal guns” needed to turn things around, including improving China’s paltry social safety net or a “return to an ambitious, market-friendly reform agenda.”