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Home / Business / China has a war chest worth $ 3.65 trillion to counter US tariffs

China has a war chest worth $ 3.65 trillion to counter US tariffs



(Bloomberg) – Beijing's primary defense against trade-deficits this year is more likely to come from the Treasury than the central bank, regardless of what President Donald Trump says.

When tariffs begin to really hurt China's tariff growth this year, there is still plenty of direct budgetary power to boost the economy before the People's Bank of China should cut interest rates, according to an analysis of Bloomberg's state spending. The data released on Wednesday showed a general slowdown in April.

China's central and local governments have not spent at least 25.1 trillion yuan ($ 3.65 trillion) in their households this year, according to official budgets. This is two trillion yuan more than the ammunition that China had in the same period of the previous year – and that corresponds approximately to the total annual production of Germany.

"Chinese leaders will be able to use various policy tools better than their American counterparts. If the trade war continues, China's trust will come," said Serena Zhou, economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. "From monetary and fiscal policies to the dominant role of state-owned enterprises, China's control of the economy is obviously stronger than that of the US," she said.

In fact, PBOC Governor Yi Gang has spent the last year saying this to avoid a "barrage" of incentives and counter expectations of interest rate cuts to curb market bubbles and limit debt growth.

That is, economists from Morgan Stanley and China International Capital Corporation to Macquarie Securities expect further cuts in the deposit banks' share to be lifted as authorities seek to maintain borrowing.

The authorities have increased budget expenditure earlier than usual, with the most obvious being frontloading in infrastructure related areas such as transport and environmental protection.

Nevertheless, more than two-thirds of the total "spiked" budget – the general public c household, sovereign wealth budget and special government bonds together remain unused.

Of course, the mere increase in spending this year is not the limit for fiscal action if the trade war breaks out and significantly affects economic growth. Officials can support growth by selling more debt through local financing instruments and political banks. However, this runs counter to the goal of reducing debt.

"China could strengthen its growth-enhancing policies if the US imposes additional tariffs According to CICC economists, one of the preferred policy options is an expansionary fiscal policy such as tax and fee reductions.

A strong slowdown in growth is likely to mean a "whatever it takes" moment for China policy makers. Otherwise, the Communist Party could not reach its long-term growth target in time for the 100th anniversary in 2021.

Also, the PBOC seems to have been escalating since this month due to trading tensions easing the tendency to tend to escalate.

Compared to the room for more fiscal stimulus, the PBOC has less room for maneuver and will probably stick to the "targeted approach" for the time being. However, Wang Yifeng, chief analyst of the banking sector at Everbright Securities Co. in Beijing, says there are general cuts in minimum reserve and interest rates on the table when the economy is facing major challenges.

Open market operations since early May, adding liquidity to stabilize market sentiment. Monetary policy officials also tried to relieve investors by saying that they had sufficient leeway and tools to deal with uncertainties.

"We can not quantify the impact of the war on corporate sentiment so the actual impact may be greater." Hong Kong-based Morgan Stanley economist Robin Xing said, "With support from Shuqin Ding" (19659017), to contact Bloomberg News staff History: Yinan Zhao in Beijing at yzhao300@bloomberg.net; Ling Zeng in Shanghai at lzeng30@bloomberg.net; Heng Xie in Beijing at hxie34@bloomberg.net

Contacting editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25 @ bloomberg.net, Brian Swint

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