CKGSB Knowledge - China Business and Economy

Reading the Tea Leaves

A new year is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. At least, that is what policymakers in Beijing will be hoping. The second half of 2018 produced an avalanche of negative headlines on the economy as a domestic deleveraging drive and the intensifying trade war with the United States slowed growth and undermined confidence.

Will these headwinds continue battering the Chinese economy this year, or will Beijing be able to engineer a recovery? There are few people better placed to answer this question than Shen Jianguang. Currently Chief Economist at JD Digits, the leading data and technology firm spun off from e-commerce giant JD.com, Shen is one of China’s most respected economic analysts. His career has included stints at the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and OECD, as well as China International Capital Corporation and Mizuho Securities.

In this interview, Shen explains that analysts are right to be concerned about the health of China’s economy, but that many are not paying attention to the greatest risk of all.

Q. How would you describe the overall state of the economy in early 2019?

A. I think the

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