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China's economy 'may be bending,' but it's not 'breaking,' JP Morgan says

2018-11-28 16:03

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The world's second-largest economy remains on track to be one of the fastest-growing globally, according to Jing Ulrich, managing director and vice chairman for Asia Pacific at J.P. Morgan Chase.

"The important thing to note is the Chinese economy may be bending. It is not breaking," Ulrich said Tuesday at CNBC's East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.

She said the firm expects China's economy to slow from 6.6 percent to 6.1 percent next year. Beijing's efforts to reduce reliance on debt for growth, an increase in uncertainty among consumers and an investment slowdown in areas such as real estate are all contributing to the slowdown, Ulrich said.

However, a growth rate above 6 percent would still mark one of the fastest in the world, and would top the U.S., which grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

Ulrich added she expects the U.S. economy to slow next year, as corporate profit growth slows and the stimulative effects of tax cuts wear out.

On top of those factors are concerns about trade tensions between China and the U.S. The two countries have announced tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods from one another as the White House seeks to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China and change how foreign companies are treated by Beijing.

Ulrich said she hopes U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President will lay out the framework for negotiations when they meet this weekend at the G-20 summit.

"Some sort of temporary truce will be very helpful in the currently very volatile capital market environment," Ulrich said.

The S&P 500 closed last week in correction territory, or more than 10 percent from its all-time high. The index recovered slightly Monday, but remains little changed for the year. The Shanghai composite is among the worst-performing stock indexes in the world this year, and fell into a bear market, or more than 20 percent from a recent high, in June.

"Capital markets have already taken into account slower growth to come in 2019," Ulrich said. "But in the medium to long term, the Chinese technology sector will still make advancements despite the trade tensions."
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