The fallout from China’s economic downturn is a risk to the economies with which it has deep trade ties. The combination of slow economic growth, high unemployment, a struggling real estate sector and low household demand in China will have ripple effects for countries that have an export concentration in hard commodities. SA is particularly exposed — 93% of our exports to China are hard commodities. 

There’s debate over whether China’s economic decline is cyclical or secular. Perhaps the sky-high growth rates of the 1980-2018 period will fall to more moderate levels in the long term in a more multipolar world. Or maybe it’s a blip owing to low household demand following unpredictable Covid-19 lockdowns. The jury is out among global economists.  ..

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