China’s GDP growth slows as real estate and energy take their toll
Volkswagen, the market leader in China, said Friday that its production had declined as the company faced an ever-worsening chip shortage and other problems in the supply chain. The company doesn’t have enough cars to meet customer and dealer orders, creating a backlog.
“Our priority is to work off our backlog,” said Stephan Wöllenstein, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen China Division.
Finding strength in export
Economists have been forecasting the same forecast for months: the rapid growth of Chinese exports cannot last.
The economists were wrong.
China’s exports continued to rise in the third quarter and closed strongly in September with a year-on-year increase of 28.1 percent. China posted its third highest monthly trade surplus of all time last month.
China has essentially maintained its export strength since its economy emerged from the pandemic last spring. As much of the world settled at home, families stocked up on consumer electronics, furniture, clothing, and other goods that China makes in abundance.
However, the export boom is another source of tension between the US and China.
Katherine Tai, the United States sales representative, said in a speech two weeks ago that China’s exportability was due in part to subsidies and other unfair practices. “For too long, China’s failure to comply with global trade standards has undermined the prosperity of Americans and others around the world,” she said.
However, Chinese officials and experts claim that the country’s success is the result of a strong work ethic and consistent, large investments in manufacturing. They are quick to point out that China was able to quickly reopen its factories and offices by getting the pandemic firmly under control within a few weeks early last year.