This episode contains segments on China’s November official purchasing managers’ indices; on Moody’s affirming China’s A1 credit rating but changing the outlook from stable to negative; on China’s focus on boosting employment opportunities for students who will graduate from university in 2024 and on the roll out of a new version of permanent resident ID cards for foreigners in China. From the Chamber’s side: join us in Beijing on 12th December at this year’s Annual Conference, to hear from a host of experts—from the policy, business and advisory worlds—on China’s economic outlook for 2024, and to understand what factors are most likely to shape the business relationship between the EU and China in the coming year.
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China official PMI, November (in Chinese)
Moody’s affirms China’s A1 rating, changes outlook to negative from stable
New guidelines to boost employment opportunities for China’s university graduates
European Chamber event: Annual Conference 2023
XINHE: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,
XINHE: Manufacturing activity in China dipped slightly further in November and services activity contracted for the first time since the country abolished its stringent COVID-19 related restrictions in January.
MARIANN: The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index or PMI slid slightly further below the 50-point benchmark separating growth from contraction. While the subindex for production remained in the growth territory, new orders continued to shrink. A breakdown according to company size showed that activity only expanded at larger manufacturing companies in November, with small- and medium-sized firms reporting contraction.
The non-manufacturing PMI remained above the 50-point benchmark, but the pace of growth slowed for the second month in a row in November. The loss of momentum was due to a contraction in services activity, which contrasted with an uptick in construction.
XINHE: On 5th December, the global integrated risk assessment firm Moody’s affirmed China’s A1 credit rating but changed the outlook on its rating from stable to negative.
MARIANN: Moody’s attributed the change in the outlook primarily to a rising likelihood that China’s central government will have to provide financial support to debt-ridden regional and local governments. It also cited increasing risks stemming from the downsizing of the property sector and lower medium-term growth, estimating that China’s economic growth would slow to 4 per cent in the next two years. On the positive side, the credit rating agency noted that the Chinese economy retained its high shock-absorption capacity.
XINHE: On 5th December, China’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Human Resources held a video conference to discuss ways of boosting employment opportunities for students who will graduate from university in 2024.
MARIANN: The Ministry of Education expects that 11.79 million students will graduate from China’s universities in 2024, 210 thousand more than this year. The guidelines issued by the Ministry listed several areas where efforts should be stepped up to secure jobs for fresh graduates. These included Chinese university leaders strengthening their corporate engagements, universities hosting recruitment events on campus, and local governments recruiting more graduates in Party and government positions. The Ministry of Education also called for programmes for university graduates to find employment in Western China, as well as rural areas.
XINHE: Starting from 1st December, China introduced a new version of permanent resident ID cards for foreigners.
MARIANN: Apart from the new design, which features the five stars of the country’s national flag, the new version of the card offers improved personal information protection and information storage. Cardholders will be able to board trains and planes, check in to hotels and use financial and other services without the need to show a foreign passport. The identification number used for the new version of the card was adjusted to the same number of digits as the Chinese resident identity card. This will allow cardholders to benefit from online and other services that require online identity authentication.
XINHE: The normalisation of life in China after COVID management controls were lifted 12 months ago led many to think that a robust and swift economic recovery would follow.
MARIANN: However, while it looks like the government’s official 2023 target of achieving around a five per cent growth rate will be met, a combination of economic challenges and policy developments have cast a shadow over the potential for a stronger economy in 2024 and beyond.
XINHE: Join us in Beijing on 12th December at this year’s Annual Conference, to hear from a host of experts—from the policy, business and advisory worlds—on China’s economic outlook for 2024, and to understand what factors are most likely to shape the business relationship between the EU and China in the coming year.
MARIANN: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.
XINHE: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.