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(Inglés) Los ahorristas chinos no van a salvar a China

Publicado: 09 Jul 2018 8:42 am
por Fermat
Chinese Savers Won’t Save China
8‎. ‎juli‎ ‎2018‎, Christopher Balding

There isn’t much left for shopping.
Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg

Chinese are, in the popular imagination as well as some economic statistics, inveterate savers. According to the International Monetary Fund, the Chinese savings rate stood at an astonishing 46 percent in 2016, compared to a global average around 25 percent. Chinese planners have long sought to bring that ratio down in order to promote consumption and ease the economy’s overreliance on investment. If only Chinese would shop more, the thinking goes, China wouldn’t need to rely on smokestack factories and boondoggle infrastructure projects to drive growth.

There’s one problem with this theory, though: Chinese may not have as much money to spend as the headline numbers would indicate.

For one thing, the official savings rate includes government-mandated social-security contributions. Other government surveys show that Chinese households only save about 29 percent of their actual income. After accounting for the fact that Chinese household income is equal to 44 percent of GDP — compared to 70 percent to 80 percent in other countries — that suggests Chinese are saving closer to 13 percent of GDP, which would be less than a third of the headline national savings rate. Even if the situation isn’t quite so dire, it seems clear that households have less socked away than one might think.

Secondly, most of those savings aren’t available for immediate consumption. Despite the mandated contributions, China’s safety net is relatively thin; it includes minimal unemployment insurance and health and retirement benefits — a source of constant grumbling. Many families have set aside money to cover the gap. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Development Economics, preemptive savings by households accounts for as much as two-thirds of the total in China.

This is entirely rational, as the volatility or risk associated with household income in China has increased in recent decades. One recent study found that the risk of permanent income shocks to Chinese households shot up after the late 1990s, as millions of migrants moved from the countryside to cities and state-owned enterprises began scaling back their guarantees of lifetime employment. While many urban residents have enjoyed soaring standards of living, millions of less-educated and unskilled workers have suffered painful income shocks from economic restructuring.

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Re: Chinese Savers Won’t Save China

Publicado: 09 Jul 2018 8:45 am
por Fermat
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