Q1 GDP this week; Guangzhou's treatment of Africans causes diplomatic mess; Mekong dams and downstream drought
It is China Q1 GDP week!
The 2020 target is still not set, officials face a real conundrum between releasing credible GDP data while not feeding into some of the more bearish views for the rest of 2020. The Q1 data may help settle the debate over what the 2020 target should be, if there is going to be one, and settling that may lead to an announcement for a date for the Two Meetings.
The Monday’s People’s Daily had a page one commentary “to expand domestic demand, we must strengthen efforts to ensure and improve people's well-being”, spurring hopes yet again of more forceful policy responses. The data this week may force the leadership to roll out much more stimulus, but they can not do what they did in 2008-09, nor do they want to. And I do not see how they can expand domestic demand enough to make up for the Q1 shortfall and the subsequent collapse in global demand.
Will the leadership decide that direct cash payments to some or all citizens make more sense as a stimulus? That could …