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光棍节不能证明中国经济转型成功

http://en.jybest.cn  英语阅读网  佚名  2015-11-16    

 

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光棍节不能证明中国经济转型成功

China’s consumers cannot save the day

英国《金融时报》 拉斐尔˙哈尔平 报道

Can the Chinese consumer successfully step up to offset weaknesses elsewhere in the economy?

中国消费者能不能成功地加把劲,弥补中国经济其它部门的疲弱?

Those backing this thesis point to two recent pieces of data.

支持这个命题的人士提到最近的两个数据。

Despite China’s recent turmoil, retail sales growth accelerated in October, surpassing growth in fixed-asset investment for the first time since the year 2000.

尽管中国近来形势不好,但10月零售销售增长加速,自2000年以来首次超过了固定资产投资的增长。

Meanwhile, China’s Singles Day generated a record $14.3bn in sales for Alibaba.

与此同时,中国的“光棍节”为阿里巴巴(Alibaba)产生了创纪录的143亿美元销售额。

There are several problems with the argument, however.

然而,这个主张有几个问题。

First, these are not accurate indicators of consumer spending.

首先,这些都不是衡量消费者支出的准确指标。

The results of one day’s sales promotion that encourages consumers to front-load purchases is not a serious measure of the health of the entire retail sector, particularly given the fact that online transactions in China only account for around 10 per cent of total retail sales.

一天的促销活动鼓励消费者提前购买,并不是整个零售行业健康状况的严肃衡量指标,尤其是鉴于在线交易仅占中国社会消费品零售总额的10%左右。

Official retail sales data, meanwhile, are also an unorthodox measure for consumer spending, given that they include government purchases.

与此同时,中国的官方零售销售数据对于消费者支出也是一个非正统的衡量指标,因为它们包括政府采购。

There are arguably more accurate indicators of consumer spending available, and these are pointing to slower rather than faster growth in the consumer sector.

其它有一些消费者支出指标可以说更准确,而它们都指向消费者部门更慢(而不是更快)的增长。

Every month FT Confidential Research surveys 1,000 Chinese consumers. In October, respondents were at their most negative about discretionary spending since the survey began in July 2011.

Similarly, China UnionPay uses data it collects from its bank cards to generate proprietary measures of consumer spending. September’s reading for its restaurant and catering spending index was the lowest since April 2011. October’s data also remained below trend.

每个月,英国《金融时报》旗下研究服务部门“投资参考”(FT Confidential Research)都会调查1000名中国消费者。10月份,受访者在自由支配支出上的情绪是自2011年7月开始调查以来最负面的。

Indirect measures of the health of the Chinese consumer are similarly negative.

同样,中国银联(China UnionPay)利用它从银行卡采集的数据产生专有的消费者支出衡量指标。9月的餐厅和餐饮消费指数跌至2011年4月以来的最低位。10月的数据也仍低于趋势线。

Year on year growth in value-added output in consumer focused service industries — the wholesale, retail, hotel and catering sectors — fell to 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of this year, down from 10.4 per cent in 2014 and one of the weakest readings on record (see chart).

间接的中国消费者健康指标也同样不利。

Fixed-asset investment growth in the wholesale, retail, hotel and catering sectors fell to its weakest ever level in the first nine months of this year.

Finally, the tertiary sector may be taking a record share of GDP growth but this is only because of an outsized contribution from the financial services sector, which accounted for 18 per cent of GDP growth in the first three quarters of 2015.

面向消费者的服务行业(批发、零售、酒店和餐饮业)的增加值同比增速在今年第三季度降至6.7%,低于2014年的10.4%,而且是有记录以来最疲弱的增速之一(见图表)。

Without the financial sector, tertiary industries’ share of GDP growth has barely budged this year, pointing to the fact that it has done little to counter the slowdown in the secondary sector.

批发、零售、酒店和餐饮业今年前9个月的固定资产投资增长跌至史上最弱水平。

Consumer not immune from wider slowdown

最后,第三产业在国内生产总值(GDP)增长中的占比也许正达到创纪录水平,但这仅仅是因为金融服务业作出了超大贡献:2015年前三个季度占到GDP增长的18%。

None of this suggests that consumer spending is falling in an absolute sense; only that growth is slowing.

Yet slower growth — even from an elevated level — is concerning because it shows that the Chinese consumer is not immune from the slowdown in the wider economy.

若剔除金融业,第三产业在GDP增长中的占比今年几乎没有变化,这指向一个事实:第三产业迄今几乎没有起到弥补第二产业放缓的作用。

This undermines the idea that consumer spending is somehow independent of the wider slowdown and can act as a countervailing force.

中国消费者并非不受整体经济放缓的影响

In reality, consumer spending in China is still heavily reliant on the performance of other parts of the economy. Those regions of China that recorded the fastest growth in retail sales in the first three quarters of this year are those where the industrial sector is holding up the best.

这一切并不说明消费者支出的绝对值在下降;只是增长在放缓。

The concept of a painful, but ultimately successful, rebalancing process for China, where industry and investment slow but consumer spending accelerates, does not, therefore, stack up.

然而,增长放缓(即使是从一个较高的基数)令人担忧,因为它表明中国消费者并未幸免于整体经济的放缓。

If these traditional growth drivers continue to slow, the consumer’s response will be a further moderation in spending growth, not an acceleration.

这打击了这样一种想法,即中国的消费者支出在某种程度上独立于整体经济放缓,并且可以作为一种对抗的力量。

The overwhelming evidence so far is that China’s slowdown is hindering rather than boosting its transition to a consumer economy.

在现实中,中国的消费者支出仍然严重依赖于其它经济部门的表现。今年前三个季度零售销售增长最快的几个地区,也正是工业部门表现保持得最好的那几个地区。

Investors should be aware that for the time being, a healthy consumer sector therefore rests on Beijing’s ability to kick-start old growth drivers, such as heavy industry and construction. If consumer spending growth picks up again — which seems likely — this will follow a stabilisation in the wider economy, not be the cause of it.

The rise of the Chinese consumer remains an appealing investment thesis, but it is less straightforward than many think.

因此,有关中国正在经历一个痛苦但最终会成功的再平衡过程,其间工业和投资放慢、但消费者支出加速的说法,是站不住脚的。

如果传统的增长驱动因素继续放缓,消费者的回应将是消费支出增长的进一步放缓,而非加快。

从迄今的压倒性证据看,中国经济放缓正在阻碍(而不是促进)向消费经济的转型。

因此,投资者应该明白的是,就眼下而言,消费者部门的健康有赖于北京方面能不能启动旧的增长动力,如重工业和建筑业。如果消费者支出增长加快了(这看上去很有可能),那将是整体经济企稳的一个结果,而不是它的原因。

中国消费者的崛起仍是一个诱人的投资主题,但它没有很多人想象的那么简单。

译者/和风

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