In most countries, demographic changes are easily anticipated.
Fertility and mortality, two major factors driving changes ...
The driving force of China’s slowing population growth rate is its low fertility
rate, which has languished well below the...
Sustained low fertility means that the number of young workers will decline
more sharply than projected. In 2010, there we...
The ‘hukou’ crisis.
11/12/13 MG FSI 4
The current hukou restrictions make it difficult for rural residents to settle in
ur...
As the share of young people falls and the share of elderly people
rises, Chinese society will age rapidly.
China already ...
China’s rapidly aging population will have enormous economic
and social implications.
The demographic dividend China enjoy...
For decades, China’s economy has been driven by high inputs of
cheap capital and labor. This cannot continue.
First, priva...
Fiscal imperatives brought about by demographic changes are also set to change the
political landscape.
Over the next 20 y...
Becoming old before becoming rich.
11/12/13 MG FSI 9
Changing China!
11/12/13 10MG FSI
Oct 11, 13 Mohan Guruswamy FSI 11
What would be worrying China.
Oct 11, 13 Mohan Guruswamy FSI 12
What would be worrying China.
Workforce projections.
11/12/13 MG FSI 13
Real GDP projections.
11/12/13 MG FSI 14
Still thrice as wealthy as India .
11/12/13 MG FSI 15
The coming economic order.
11/12/13 MG FSI 16
Trend in real GDP at market prices
($billions)
11/12/13 MG FSI 17
The coming economic transition.
11/12/13 MG FSI 18
11/12/13 MG FSI 19
11/12/13 MG FSI 20
Over the next decade, only China,
Thailand, and Vietnam are expected to
experience some pickup in the r...
11/12/13 MG FSI 21
11/12/13 MG FSI 22
11/12/13 MG FSI 23
China's current-account surplus has plummeted. In 2007 it amounted to
more than 10 percent of the entire Chinese economy. ...
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NIAS CHINA Economic Prospects

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NIAS CHINA Economic Prospects

  1. 1. In most countries, demographic changes are easily anticipated. Fertility and mortality, two major factors driving changes in population size and age structure, do not change abruptly (except when altered by pandemic, war or famine). But this is not true for China, where the 2010 census showed that population growth has slowed far more quickly than most observers expected. From 2001-10, China’s population inched up at just 0.57% annually—only about half the level of the previous decade, and only one-fifth of the level in 1970, when controlling population growth first became a priority. The census also showed that there are fewer young people and more old people than forecast. By 2010, nearly 14% of Chinese citizens were over 60, and nearly one in 10 were over 65. China is already an aging society. Heading for a people crisis. 11/12/13 1MG FSI
  2. 2. The driving force of China’s slowing population growth rate is its low fertility rate, which has languished well below the replacement level of 2.1 for two decades. The census confirms that China’s total fertility rate—the average number of children born to each woman—is among the lowest in the world, at only 1.4. This number puts China below the developed-world average of 1.7. At purchasing power parity, China’s per-capita income is just a fifth or less of other large economies’. But China’s fertility level is far below that of the United States, the United Kingdom or France (all around 2.0), and is on par with those of Russia, Japan, Germany and Italy—all countries with declining populations. For the 10th Five-Year Plan, the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC) set a population growth target of 62.6m, but China recorded an actual population gain of just 40.1m. For the 11th Five Year Plan, the population gain of 34.2m was far below the 52.4m target. In both cases, the margin of error was greater than 50%! Failing to meet growth targets. 11/12/13 2MG FSI
  3. 3. Sustained low fertility means that the number of young workers will decline more sharply than projected. In 2010, there were 116m people aged 20 to 24; by 2020, the number will fall by 20% to 94m. But the actual number of workers will be considerably lower than 94m, thanks to rising participation in higher education. Annual higher-education enrollments tripled from 2.2m to 6.6m in 2001-10, while the number of college students (mostly aged 18 to 21) rose from 5.6m to 22.3m. Declining fertility levels reduced the availability of young workers, but this was exacerbated by the expansion of higher education. Sustained low fertility and rising college enrollments mean that the supply of young workers will continue to decline beyond 2020. The size of the young population aged 20-24 will only be 67m by 2030, less than 60% of the figure in 2010. Losing workers to education. 11/12/13 3MG FSI
  4. 4. The ‘hukou’ crisis. 11/12/13 MG FSI 4 The current hukou restrictions make it difficult for rural residents to settle in urban areas. Those that move to urban areas to do menial jobs are treated like second-class citizens. They do the most dangerous jobs, are underpaid, live in substandard housing, and are denied access to social services, health care and education for their children. If the hukou system was abolished to allow them to legally move to the cities, their lives would improve and they could contribute to the government’s goal of boosting domestic consumption. There is resistance to such a policy. It’s feared that allowing rural citizens to move to urban areas would increase outlays for social services, health care and education in places that are already strapped for cash. Furthermore, city residents will be opposed to sharing their limited resources with migrants. Finally, the conservative Public Security authorities are likely to oppose any reforms that reduces their ability to control the movement of citizens
  5. 5. As the share of young people falls and the share of elderly people rises, Chinese society will age rapidly. China already has 180m people aged over 60, and this is set to reach around 240m by 2020 and 360m by 2030. These are minimum numbers, which will only increase with rising life expectancy. Less certain are how fertility rates will affect the population age structure. Should China’s currently low fertility of 1.4 children per couple be sustained, the population share of people aged over 60 could reach 20% by 2020 and 27% by 2030. Using the more conservative inter-national definition of elderly—people aged 65 plus—one in five Chinese citizens will be elderly by 2030. An aging country. 11/12/13 5MG FSI
  6. 6. China’s rapidly aging population will have enormous economic and social implications. The demographic dividend China enjoyed over the past 30 years—especially in 1980-2000—is now largely exhausted. In 1980-2010, the effect of a favorable population age structure accounted for between 15% and 25% of per-capita GDP growth. As China’s demo­graphic fortunes reverse, the economy will slow down regardless of other factors driving growth. Since China’s economic and political governance model is premised on near double-digit growth, this will require substan-tial policy change. The implications of aging. 11/12/13 6MG FSI
  7. 7. For decades, China’s economy has been driven by high inputs of cheap capital and labor. This cannot continue. First, private savings—the most important source of capital for investment—will decline as a share of GDP over the coming decades. Currently, China has many more net savers than net consumers. But the population share of people aged 30 to 50—typically the highest savers—will drop from 50% in 2010 to around 46% in 2020, and fall to 40% by 2030. As the current cohort of high savers move towards retirement, the national rate of savings growth should decline and spending accelerate. No more on the cheap. 11/12/13 7MG FSI
  8. 8. Fiscal imperatives brought about by demographic changes are also set to change the political landscape. Over the next 20 years, the ratio of workers to retirees (presuming workers continue to retire at 60) will drop precipitously from roughly 5:1 today to just 2:1. Such a drastic change implies that the tax burden for each working-age person must rise by more than 150%, assuming that the government maintains its current level of tax income. During the past decade, tax receipts grew at twice the rate of GDP—but the happy days are set to end. In addition, mounting expenditure on social entitlements—especially pensions and health care—will put leaders in a difficult position. If the government demands that taxpayers pay more, the public will demand better scrutiny of how their dollars are collected and spent. The government will have no choice but to cut corruption and waste, and to deliver public services more efficiently. The alternative is a crisis of governance. No more business as usual. 11/12/13 8MG FSI
  9. 9. Becoming old before becoming rich. 11/12/13 MG FSI 9
  10. 10. Changing China! 11/12/13 10MG FSI
  11. 11. Oct 11, 13 Mohan Guruswamy FSI 11 What would be worrying China.
  12. 12. Oct 11, 13 Mohan Guruswamy FSI 12 What would be worrying China.
  13. 13. Workforce projections. 11/12/13 MG FSI 13
  14. 14. Real GDP projections. 11/12/13 MG FSI 14
  15. 15. Still thrice as wealthy as India . 11/12/13 MG FSI 15
  16. 16. The coming economic order. 11/12/13 MG FSI 16
  17. 17. Trend in real GDP at market prices ($billions) 11/12/13 MG FSI 17
  18. 18. The coming economic transition. 11/12/13 MG FSI 18
  19. 19. 11/12/13 MG FSI 19
  20. 20. 11/12/13 MG FSI 20 Over the next decade, only China, Thailand, and Vietnam are expected to experience some pickup in the ratio, while India, the Philippines—where dependency ratios remain comparatively high but are coming down rapidly—and to a lesser extent Indonesia will see a decline in the ratio as they enjoy a “demographic dividend.” Beyond the 10- year horizon, with the notable exception of India and the Philippines, a generalized deterioration is foreseen, with China and Thailand being hardest hit.
  21. 21. 11/12/13 MG FSI 21
  22. 22. 11/12/13 MG FSI 22
  23. 23. 11/12/13 MG FSI 23
  24. 24. China's current-account surplus has plummeted. In 2007 it amounted to more than 10 percent of the entire Chinese economy. By last year it had shrunk to about 2.8 percent. And the International Monetary Fund estimates it will decline to 2.3 percent of the nation's output in 2012, the smallest since 2001. While its current-account surplus with the United States, $318 billion last year, was somewhat bigger than it was in 2007, China actually ran a big deficit with the rest of the world. China's vast takeover of world markets may be running out of steam. There is also scattered evidence that China's wages have been rising over the last decade - about 10 percent a year in real terms, according to Nicholas R. Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. However, something unexpected has happened to China's economy. Its surplus with the rest of the world has largely disappeared. Oct 11, 13 24Mohan Guruswamy FSI

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