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How normal is the ‘New Normal’? - Assessing the causes and implications of China’s economic slowdown

Wednesday 29 March 2017
China Seminar
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 1
2311 BZ Leiden

China’s economic slowdown since 2008 has given rise to multiple domestic and international concerns pertaining to China’s development model and economic future, as well as its impact on new Chinese-led initiatives and China’s role in economic governance. Yet the very nature of its economic slowdown and its transition to a ‘New Normal’ remains heavily debated. This paper seeks to provide a detailed analytical assessment of China’s economic slowdown and its implications. The author scrutinizes the direct causes of slowdown in the context of China’s long-term growth trajectories, and argues that the recent economic slowdown is structural rather than cyclical. Therefore, government policies to prevent further decline should include effective instruments that tackle the long-term imbalances embedded in the Chinese economy instead of superficial cures.

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