Job openings for blue-collar workers in China rose fairly strongly in March MoM, particularly in the construction sector, indicating a robust level of underlying economic activity during the month mixed with the slow return to the job market of migrant workers after the Chinese New Year.
China Confidential’s key proprietary indices showed robust readings in March on both a YoY and MoM basis, reflecting a rebound in economic activity after the Chinese New Year and a continuation of the pre-holiday growth trend.
The Guangdong government has outlined detailed plans to boost the number of urban residents in the province by 2015, in line with the new leadership’s emphasis on urbanisation.
Steel production has hit record highs at the beginning of this year, but while demand has lagged, underlying fundamentals remain strong.
China Confidential’s initial reading on economic activity for the month of March signals robust growth amid stable inflationary pressures, while the first National People’s Congress of Xi Jinping’s administration showed an unmistakable resolve to push forward free-market reforms.
The China Confidential Rural Wealth Index (CCRWI) fell to 50.1 in February, down from 53.4 in January, due to a (largely seasonal) deterioration in vehicle sales and a fall back in pig prices. Better news came in the form of a solid 22.4% YoY increase in lending to the grain sector, which looks set to be increased further in 2013.
The new set of policy priorities for Xi Jinping’s administration, increasing public discontent, and the diminishing importance of the industrial sector to China’s economy, makes us cautiously optimistic that the drive to tackle pollution could gain momentum this year.
The official integration of rural migrants already living in small towns and cities as formal urban residents, which we expect to happen in the coming years, will unlock vast amounts of untapped wealth and drive strong growth in these markets. But it also poses risks, not least the prospect of overheated local property markets.
Despite seasonal distortions, our indicators point to a continuation of recent growth momentum in February, but concern over shadow banking risks are mounting
China’s export growth showed an obvious slowdown on a MoM basis but a slight uptick on a YoY basis in February, according to China Confidential’s survey of 100 manufacturers, 62 trading companies and 40 shipping agents.
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