Soft landing more likely in China: economists


Although the Chinese economy is slowing down, “soft landing is more likely,” said economists from Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Tuesday.

“Slowdown in China is a good thing right now. China needs to slow down because there is some overheating going on,” Ethan Harris, head of BofA Merrill Lynch’s Developed Markets Economics Research, told Xinhua at the company’s 2011 Mid-Year Review & Outlook press conference.

Harris said the Chinese economy is expected to slow down to 9 percent and stabilize there, which is good for China at the moment. However, the market tends to overestimate the risk

“The slowdown will help contain inflation,” said Harris, who believes that china’s core inflation will creep up further, but will stabilize next year.

Harris pointed out the real test for China is whether the underlying inflation will stabilize or not six months from now when food prices come off a bit. “That’s the real test for China,” he said

Talking about the heated argument concerning China’s real estate bubble, Harris said he doesn’t think it’s a big risk for China.

“It’s to some degree a global phenomenon that big cities have high real estate prices,” said Harris. “Is there risk of a bubble? Yes! But is there gonna be a big blowup soon? I don’t think so.”

David Bianco, head of US equity strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch, also said the Chinese economy is not turning to “something that more of a hard landing.”

“From equities perspective, the way the US stocks benefit from China’ s rapid growth is through the commodity complex and capital good demand,” Bianco said. He believes China’s growth is “robust enough” to generate strong earnings for the US companies.

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