By Isaac Cohen*
The plenum of the Central Committee of China’s Communist Party is meeting in Beijing this week, in the middle of indications of an intensification of an economic slowdown. Therefore, the expectation is that the meeting will signal a new economic orientation.
Since the Great Recession of 2008, the rate of economic growth in China has declined, from the spectacular two digits of the last decade, to the present official target of 7 percent. However, several measures adopted by the government recently indicate that the slowdown has intensified. For instance, in August the Chinese government actively intervened to stop an abrupt slide in the stock market.
This was followed by a slight devaluation of the yuan and culminated in the approval of a set of stimulus measures, such as the central bank cutting interest rates for the sixth time in less than a year and a reduction in the bank’s reserve requirements.
Finally, the government revealed that this year’s third quarter economic growth was 6.9 percent, slightly under the official target of 7 percent. Previously, the International Monetary Fund projected 6.8 percent economic growth in China for 2015.
Additionally, the consequences of the slowdown in China for its trading partners have intensified through a deep fall in imports. Last September, China’s imports declined 20.4 percent on a year on year basis.
*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former Director, UNECLAC.