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... etc.; source:Today, China’s renewed economic and market stability contrasts with the fear of a hard landing that gripped markets less than a year ago. At the start of 2016, China’s economy was faltering, the yuan was besieged by speculators and its stock market was in the midst of an unprecedented rout. The turmoil roiled markets across the world, wiping out more than $6 trillion in global equity value in the first two months of 2016.
However, the International Monetary Fund’s latest forecasts predict that China’s economy will expand 6.6 percent this year and 6.2 percent in 2017, unchanged from earlier projections. By contrast, the IMF says, “taken as a whole, the world economy is moving sideways.” The fund lowered its 2016 forecast for advanced economies to 1.6 percent.
Compared with the uncertainties over Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and the trade policies of the next U.S. president amid negative interest rates in Europe and Japan, China can be credited with having a master plan for its economic development.
The Chinese government is pushing forward the transition to a domestic consumption and services-led economy, as the old growth engines of manufacturing and exports lose steam. Consumer spending is filling some gaps, along with the rise of e-commerce and internet giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Chinese shoppers are becoming increasingly affluent and sophisticated. Instant noodles were once regarded as comfort food for office workers, and over the past three decades these bowls were also ubiquitous at construction sites, railway stations and factories, coupled with the country’s economic takeoff. Now, they are giving way to freshly prepared food, powered by the ascent of China’s middle class. Sales of instant noodles produced by Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp., manufacturer of the top brand, Master Kong, have declined for the last two years.
In another sign of growing sophistication, Chinese consumers are increasingly seeking healthier and tastier meal options along with convenience, thanks to the rise of mobile technologies and e-commerce. Fresh food is delivered at the door within half an hour after a few taps of mobile apps. The country’s three biggest internet companies, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, are pouring money into food delivery platforms serving the “online-to-offline” neighborhood services market, which is expected to reach 7.28 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) by 2017.
E-commerce, one of the most revolutionary changes in the Chinese consumer economy, accounts for 11 percent of the country’s retail sales, according to Nielsen Holdings Plc., compared with 8 percent in the U.S. More importantly, “it has taken China only five years to rise from about 2 percent of e-commerce penetration to around 14 percent—half the time that it took the U.S. to achieve that level of growth,” says Geoffrey Wong, Head of Emerging Markets & Asia Pacific Equities, UBS Asset Management.