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News from China
China continues to raise pensions for retirees
21st March 2019

 China will raise the basic pension in 2019, the 15th straight year it had done so, to strengthen people's sense of fulfillment and happiness, an Economic Daily report said Thursday.

 
Starting from the beginning of this year, the average monthly payment for retirees from enterprises, government agencies and public institutions was lifted by 5 percent from 2018 levels, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.
 
The State Council, China's cabinet, decided to maintain a 5-percent pension rise this year, given that both the average salary increase and the consumer price rise were stable in 2018, said Jin Weigang, head of Chinese Academy of Labor and Social Security.
 
The increase, set to benefit 118 million retirees across China, was equivalent with the rise rate in 2018.
 
However, the rise rate this year was lower than the 5.5-percent increase in 2017, due to moderating economic growth and a rapidly aging society, which result in a heavier burden on the pension funds.
 
A slower rise rate is conducive to the pensions' sustainable development, Jin said.
 
China raised pensions by at least 10 percent annually during the 2005-2015 period before the pace slackened in 2016.
 
From 2005 to 2016, the average monthly pension payment for enterprise retirees went up to 2,400 yuan (US$350) from around 640 yuan, official data showed.
 
The government estimates that the number of people aged over 60 in China will reach 255 million, 17.8 percent of the country's total population, by 2020.
 
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 21, 2019
China continues to raise pensions for retirees
21st March 2019

 China will raise the basic pension in 2019, the 15th straight year it had done so, to strengthen people's sense of fulfillment and happiness, an Economic Daily report said Thursday.

 
Starting from the beginning of this year, the average monthly payment for retirees from enterprises, government agencies and public institutions was lifted by 5 percent from 2018 levels, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.
 
The State Council, China's cabinet, decided to maintain a 5-percent pension rise this year, given that both the average salary increase and the consumer price rise were stable in 2018, said Jin Weigang, head of Chinese Academy of Labor and Social Security.
 
The increase, set to benefit 118 million retirees across China, was equivalent with the rise rate in 2018.
 
However, the rise rate this year was lower than the 5.5-percent increase in 2017, due to moderating economic growth and a rapidly aging society, which result in a heavier burden on the pension funds.
 
A slower rise rate is conducive to the pensions' sustainable development, Jin said.
 
China raised pensions by at least 10 percent annually during the 2005-2015 period before the pace slackened in 2016.
 
From 2005 to 2016, the average monthly pension payment for enterprise retirees went up to 2,400 yuan (US$350) from around 640 yuan, official data showed.
 
The government estimates that the number of people aged over 60 in China will reach 255 million, 17.8 percent of the country's total population, by 2020.
 
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 21, 2019
New US survey shows most respondents expect US-China trade deal in 2019
20th March 2019

 A deal between the United States and China to resolve their trade disputes is widely expected to be reached this year, while sluggish global growth and tariffs are seen as main reasons for a sharp slowdown of the US economy, US media reported Tuesday citing a recent survey.

 
CNBC reported that the CNBC Fed survey for March showed 79 percent of the 43 respondents expected a US-China trade deal this year, 2 percent predicted a new round of tariffs, and 17 percent said the trade tension will continue.
 
Those polled range from economists to fund managers and strategists, according to the report.
 
The average forecast for the growth of the US gross domestic product for 2019 is 2.3 percent, down from the 2.44 percent prediction made in a January survey by the CNBC and a drastic decline from the 3.1-percent year-on-year GDP rise recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.
 
For 2020, the respondents predicted that economic growth will decelerate to below 2 percent.
 
As for what factors contribute to the US economic slowdown, slowing global growth and protectionist trade policies are viewed as the top two reasons. Thirty-two percent of the respondents said US expansion is hampered primarily by global weakness, and 27 percent assigned the cause to trade protectionism.
 
Tariffs, both those imposed by the Trump administration and those levied by other countries in retaliation, are seen by 45 percent of the respondents as having a significant role in global slowdown. Another 48 percent perceived the effect to be modest, and only 7 percent said the duties are irrelevant.
 
Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a telebriefing Tuesday morning that "there's ample room for optimism" about the US economic outlook.
 
He said the administration is "watching closely" signs of recession globally, especially in Europe, which he said "seems very close to recession" partly because of uncertainties related to Britain's exit from the European Union.
 
"We are pretty confident that the momentum that we are carrying into this year will continue," Hassett said of the US economy. "I think the idea that we would have a recession next year is certainly not impossible ... but it would be very unusual for such a thing to happen."
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 20, 2019
Escalation of US-China bilateral tariffs to shave off US$1t from US GDP in 10 years: study
19th March 2019
An escalation of US-China bilateral tariffs will shave off US$1 trillion from the US economy in a decade and inflict a particular damage on the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, according to a recent study released by the US Chamber of Commerce.
 
"Escalation of bilateral tariffs results in lower GDP, lower employment, lower investment, and lower trade flows for the United States," said the study titled "Assessing the Costs of Tariffs on the US ICT Industry."
 
The collaborative work of the chamber and the research firm Rhodium Group was published on Friday. It found that the tariff measures would cost the US GDP from US$45 billion to US$60 billion in the first year following the imposition, and the figure grows to range from US$89 billion to US$125 billion annually five years later.
 
Cumulatively, the study said, the US economy stands to come up US$1 trillion short of its baseline potential within 10 years of tariff implementation. The US GDP in 2018 was approximately US$20.5 trillion.
 
Tariffs are also expected to "shave up to one-third of a percentage point" in total factor productivity from real US GDP growth, "threatening a key channel for transmission of the benefits of an open ICT sector to the economy," said the study.
 
Furthermore, the Chamber contends that US tariffs on Chinese goods linked to Beijing's high-tech industrial policies "would not result in meaningful onshoring of US ICT production." It said US domestic ICT production must meet a 3 to 4 percent annual rise in demand as higher prices lead to reduced imports.
 
ICT manufacturing, the study said, is one of the industries that are built on globalized trade and production networks. These industries, according to the study, "are most exposed to negative impacts."
 
Due to the tariffs, US ICT goods exports would reduce by 14.2 percent to 20 percent in the five years ahead, the study said, adding that the country's ICT imports would fall by 9 percent to 10 percent during the same period.
 
The study said higher US import tariffs would not only "disproportionately hit US manufacturers who rely on lower-cost inputs shipped from China," but also compel ICT-related businesses to reroute global supply chains to regional supply chains. The options, the study suggests, are limited given the uneven spread of ICT merchandise production capacity globally.
 
"In all scenarios, ICT merchandise production falls in China and grows in Canada and Mexico," the study said. "While East Asian countries would experience a boost in ICT merchandise production, other Asian countries see lower-than-baseline output."
 
The tariffs' impact on the US ICT services sector, albeit insignificant for the time being, "grows more severe over time and equates to a significant missed opportunity," the study said.
 
"Because both the United States and China are highly integrated into global value chains -- and are the most integrated in ICT industries -- they stand to lose the most in investment, trade, and welfare from the imposition of bilateral tariffs," said the study.
 
The study predicts that global growth will be US$151.4 billion, or 0.2 percent, lower than projected in 2025 if US tariffs on Chinese exports worth US$200 billion are increased to 25 percent and China retaliates.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 19, 2019

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