Research Briefing | Dec 21, 2021

Chinese city growth rates to return to trend – but with some short-term worries

China | City growth rates to return to trend—but with some short-term worries

The short-term outlook for China and its cities has weakened slightly this quarter. New headwinds from the property sector slowdown join the existing challenge of China’s hard-line approach to tackling small outbreaks of coronavirus. Over the medium-term, tech cities look set to benefit from China’s ambition to transition further towards innovation-led development.

What you will learn:

  • GDP growth for China’s cities will be lower in 2022 than 2021, but this largely represents a natural slowdown from the strong recovery growth in 2021.
  • Intermittent lockdowns and other restrictions pose an ongoing threat to the recovery of consumer sectors in Chinese cities, while the slowdown in the property market will challenge real estate and construction activity. Cities which have specialised in high-tech manufacturing and information & communications are expected to show strength in 2022.
  • China’s latest five-year development plan suggests technology- and innovation-led development will also be the main driver of economic growth over the medium-term. Cities such as Shenzhen in the south and Hangzhou on the east coast look set to benefit from this transition.
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