China. Retail support by state intervention
Will Chinese state interventionism be sufficient to put retail back on track, at a time when G.D.P. fell by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020, following a 6% rise in Q4 2019? This was the first decline since 1992… when such quarterly indicators began. China is now facing two major challenges. Firstly, a poor outlook for global demand is damaging Chinese exports. Secondly, rising unemployment is slowing any recovery in the country, which has the highest personal savings rate in the world, measured at 45% of G.D.P. at the end of 2019. UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland), in a summary integration of seasonal, informal jobs and casual workers, reported that real unemployment would affect 80 million Chinese. If so, this is triple the official figures. According to a recent study by the People’s Bank of China among 20,000 people with saving accounts in 50 cities, 53% planned to save more from now on, an increase of 7.3% compared to Q4 2019.