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Andrew Mullen



Articles by Andrew Mullen

EU-China relations: services sector seen as untapped potential for growth in relationship after goods trade overtakes US

11 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Even as China overtook the United States as the European Union’s biggest trading partner last year, the services sector offers untapped potentials to grow the relationship which reached €586 billion (US$707 billion) in 2020, according to the president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.China’s trade volume in goods with the 27-member European Union (EU), excluding Britain, reached €586 billion in 2020, according to the latest data.Both the EU’s exports to and imports from China…

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China coal: why is it so important to the economy?

17 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Why does China need coal?China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal.Thermal coal is widely used for power generation, which accounted for 57.7 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption in 2019, a decline of 10.8 percentage points from 2012. But that was still far higher than cleaner energy sources – including natural gas, hydro, nuclear, solar and wind.Coal is also used by poorer households in many parts of the country for both heating and cooking.Coking coal is also a…

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China inflation: manufacturers charging more for their products for first time in a year

20 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s producer price index (PPI) rose for the first time in a year due to a rise in demand as the economic recovery continued and as factories passed on rising input prices, data released on Wednesday showed.PPI, reflecting the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, rose to 0.3 per cent in January from a year earlier, compared with minus 0.4 per cent in December.This was in-line with the Bloomberg survey which had predicted a rise to 0.3 per cent.PPI was last positive in…

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US-China trade war: phase one trade deal largely a ‘failure’, as purchases fall well short of targets

22 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A large part of the phase one trade deal between China and the United States that entered into force almost one year ago was a “failure”, according to a new report, although “several elements are worth keeping and building upon”.The US and China signed their long-awaited deal in January 2020, with the conditions of the agreement beginning one month later. As part of it, China committed to buying US$200 billion in additional goods and services over 2020-21 on top of 2017’s levels.But a report…

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China digital currency: Beijing, Suzhou confirm latest trials as e-yuan tests top 100 million yuan

22 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing and Suzhou will issue a total of 40 million yuan (US$6.2 million) in the latest trials of the nation’s digital currency this week in a bid to boost consumption over the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.The China Daily reported on Monday that, according to government notice issued over the weekend, Beijing will distribute 10 million yuan in digital red packets each worth 200 yuan (US$31) via a lucky draw each on Wednesday for use both online and offline.Users will be able to spend the…

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China-New Zealand relations: Air New Zealand starts cargo flights to Guangzhou hot on heels of free-trade deal upgrade

25 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A week after China and New Zealand completed a review and expansion of their free-trade agreement, national carrier Air New Zealand has opened cargo flights from Auckland and Christchurch to Guangzhou for the first time.The airline will operate three return services to Guangzhou this week to support increased demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, with the first flight having taken off from Christchurch bound for Guangzhou on Wednesday.From next week, Air New Zealand will operate two multi…

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China-Australia relations: Canberra denies ‘playing the victim’ in trade dispute with Beijing

28 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Trade Minister Dan Tehan has denied Australia is “playing the victim” in its relationship with China amid their ongoing trade dispute.Tehan was responding to an editorial on Monday in China’s nationalist tabloid, the Global Times, that said Australia appeared “to be pulling another publicity stunt” and “publicly whining” after the minister said he had not received a reply to a letter he sent to China’s new commerce minister, Wang Wentao, last month.Having replaced Simon Birmingham as trade…

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China consumer inflation turns positive in December on higher food prices

January 11, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s headline consumer inflation recovered in December after dropping into negative territory in the previous month for the first time in 11 years, data released on Monday showed.China’s official consumer price index (CPI) rose to 0.2 per cent in December from a year earlier, from minus 0.5 per cent in November, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). This was above with the median results of a Bloomberg survey of analysts which had predicted a rise to zero per…

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2020 review: China’s economy endured a turbulent 12 months due to the impact of the coronavirus

January 2, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China and the United States signed their long-awaited phase one trade deal in January, somewhat ending their 18 month trade war, but 2020 was dominated by the impact of the coronavirus.As a result, China’s economy shrank by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, although it is set to be the only Group of 20 nation to post positive economic growth this year.January 2020With the severity of the coronavirus still unknown, January will be remembered for China and the US signing their long…

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China economy 2020 review: the highs and lows of a coronavirus-hit 12 months

December 31, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Like most of the world, China’s economy has endured a turbulent year brought on by the wide reaching impact of the coronavirus.The year started on somewhat of a bright note as on January 15 the US and China signed their phase one trade deal, signalling a pause in the tit-for-tat trade tariff war that had raged for some 18 months.But just over a week later, China’s central government imposed a lockdown on Wuhan and several other cities as the realities of the coronavirus and its impacts began to…

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China’s retail-sector borrowing ‘fell off a cliff’ in late 2020, with many small firms unable to access credit, report says

December 29, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Borrowing by China’s already struggling retail sector “fell off a cliff” at the end of this year, with small firms also still struggling to access credit amid a weak recovery in consumer spending, according to a new report.Loan-rejection rates in the retail sector increased to 38 per cent in the final quarter of 2020 from 14 per cent in the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly report from China Beige Book International, which conducts an independent survey of different aspects of…

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Best of 2020: coronavirus, trade war, US-China relations dominate most read economy stories of the year

December 25, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]1. Coronavirus: China’s economy suffers dramatic collapse in January, February in warning to rest of world(Finbarr Bermingham and Orange Wang – March 16, 2020)Combined data for January and February showed that industrial production, retail sales and asset investment all declined far more than analysts expectedLockdowns to control the coronavirus proved to be a constraint to economic growth, but with China now in recovery, data suggests what rest of the world could expectThe coronavirus’ impact…

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China manufacturing: everything you need to know

December 16, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is the world’s largest manufacturer in terms of output and has gained a reputation as the “world’s factory” soon after its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.Lured by cheap labour, China’s commitment to opening up its economy, and low tariff access to Western markets, all due to its WTO entry, foreign firms and investors rushed to do business in the world’s most populous country in the new millennium.Aided by state investment, China has since become a world leader in…

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China trade: everything you need to know

December 8, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s export-driven economy was the workshop of the world for decades. In 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), the country accounted for 4 per cent of the world’s exports, and by 2017, that had risen to 13 per cent.Imports also skyrocketed as consumption grew in China.The trade war with the United States damaged China’s exports, as tariffs made its goods more expensive for American customers.The coronavirus also had a mixed impact on China’s trade. An early lockdown met…

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China’s services sector sentiment surged in November, jumps to second-highest level since April 2010

December 3, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Activity in China’s services sector surged in November as the economy continued its strong recovery from the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, a private survey showed on Thursday.The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a gauge of sentiment among smaller, private firms, rose to 57.8 in November from 56.8 in October.The reading was the second highest since April 2010, below only June’s reading of 58.4.November’s reading was also above the median prediction by analysts…

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China manufacturing sentiment hits highest level in 10 years in November

December 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s manufacturing activity extended its strong growth in November, according to data released on Tuesday.The Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.9 in November from 53.6 in October, the sharpest improvement in conditions since November 2010.The health of the sector has now improved in each of the past seven months, underlining China’s strong recovery from the coronavirus. A Bloomberg survey had expected a slight decline to 53.5.The Caixin/Markit PMI…

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China inflation: how is it measured and why is it important?

November 10, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What is consumer inflation?Consumer inflation is the rising costs of goods and services in an economy and, as a result, reflects the decreasing purchasing power of consumers, all other things being equal. Rising income can offset the impact of rising inflation. “Real” income growth is adjusted to subtract the impact of inflation.How is China’s consumer inflation measured?It is most often measured by the consumer price index (CPI), which tracks the prices people pay for a “basket” of goods and…

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China’s services sector remained strong in October, second highest in 10 years

November 4, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Activity in China’s services sector accelerated in October as the economy continued its strong recovery from the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, a private survey showed on Wednesday.The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a gauge of sentiment among smaller, private firms, rose to 56.8 in October from 54.8 in September. A reading above 50.0 indicates growth, while a reading below represents a contraction.October’s reading was higher than the median prediction of 55.0…

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China’s economic recovery continues as manufacturing activity rises to highest level since January 2011

November 2, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Chinese manufacturing sector continued to show strong activity in October, indicating the nation’s robust rebound from the coronavirus pandemic continued in the first month of the fourth quarter.The Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), rose to 53.6 in October from 53.0 in September, above the Bloomberg survey expectation for a slight decline to 52.8, and to its highest level since January 2011.The Caixin/Markit PMI confirmed the result of the official manufacturing…

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How did China’s industrial giants perform in September?

October 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s industrial giants saw their monthly profits grow for a fifth consecutive month in September, while remaining negative over the first nine months of the year.In September, profits of large industrial firms increased 10.1 per cent compared with a year earlier, though this was lower than the increase of 19.1 per cent in August, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).In the first nine months of the year, industrial profits at China’s biggest firms fell by 2.4 per…

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China’s services sector remained strong in September due to continued recovery in domestic supply, demand

October 9, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A continued recovery in domestic supply and demand saw sentiment within China’s services sector remain positive for a fifth consecutive month in September, a new survey released on Friday showed.The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which focuses on sentiment within smaller, private firms, rose to 54.8 in September from 54.0 in August.This was above the median expectation in a Bloomberg survey for a reading of 54.3, with the rate of expansion the sharpest for three months…

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China’s small factory activity strengthened in August thanks to rise in production, new orders, export sales

September 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s manufacturing sector showed further recovery in August, with production, new orders and also export sales improving in a new survey released on Tuesday.The Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 53.1 last month from 52.8 in July, beating median expectations in a Bloomberg survey of 52.5, and remaining in positive territory for the fourth consecutive month.It was also the biggest rate of expansion since January 2011.The survey focuses on production at…

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China’s industrial giants rebound for third successive month in July as coronavirus recovery continued

August 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s industrial giants saw their monthly profits grow for a third successive month in July, but remained negative in the first seven months of the year.Last month, profits of industrial firms saw a year on year increase of 19.6 per cent, improving from the increase of 11.5 per cent in June, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Thursday.In the first seven months of the year, however, profits fell by 8.1 per cent, with May, June and July representing the only months of…

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China keeps loan rate steady for fourth straight month

August 20, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China as expected kept its benchmark lending rate steady for the fourth straight month on Thursday.The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was kept unchanged at 3.85 per cent, while the five-year LPR remained at 4.65 per cent.Most new and outstanding loans are based on the LPR, while the five-year rate influences the pricing of mortgages.Twenty-eight traders and analysts out of 31 participants in a snap survey conducted by Reuters this week had predicted no change to the either rates.It seems that…

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China inflation rose 2.7 per cent in July, driven by higher food costs

August 10, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s inflation rate rose 2.7 per cent in July, up from the 2.5 per cent gain in June, data released on Monday showed.The rising consumer price index (CPI) was slightly worse than the inflation rate of 2.6 per cent expected by analysts.Pressure on China’s manufacturing sector following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, meanwhile, eased slightly in July as the producer price index (PPI), reflecting the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, fell 2.4 per cent year on…

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China’s services sector expanded at slower pace in July, weighed down by falling export orders and job losses

August 5, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s services sector activity continued to grow in July, but the pace slowed from a decade high the previous month as export orders remained weak and firms continued to shed workers, a private survey showed on Wednesday.The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which focuses on smaller, private firms, fell to 54.1 in July from 58.4 in June, which was the highest reading since April 2010. A reading above 50.0 indicates growth in sector activity, while a reading below…

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China’s small factory activity strengthened in July to highest level since January 2011

August 3, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s manufacturing sector showed a further rebound in July to its strongest level since January 2011, but weak foreign demand and downward pressure on employment showed there is still some way to go to reach pre-coronavirus levels.The Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), released on Monday, rose to 52.8 last month from 51.2 in June, beating analysts expectations and showing production at smaller Chinese factories was improving. The 50-point mark separates contraction…

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Price pressure on China’s manufacturing sector fell in June as coronavirus impact eased

July 9, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Pressure on China’s manufacturing sector eased in June following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, data released on Thursday showed.The producer price index (PPI), reflecting the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, fell 3.0 per cent year on year in June, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.That was lower than May’s reading of a 3.7 per cent decline and lower than the 3.2 per cent contraction tipped by analysts in a survey by Bloomberg.The drop…

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China’s industrial giants remain under pressure as profits continue to decline, but at slower pace

May 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Profits at China’s big industrial firms continued to collapse in the first four months of the year under pressure from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, although the decline showed signs of slowing.Industrial firms saw profits fall by 27.4 per cent year-on-year over the first four months of 2020 to 1.26 trillion yuan (US$177 billion), data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Wednesday showed.This was a further slight improvement from the 36.7 per cent…

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