What are your predictions for China's economy in 2019?
The difficulty to predict what is going to happen in 2019 in China shows that we have entered very uncertain times.
The economic outlook of the coming year depends on how political tensions will resolve, both internally and globally.
The national Chinese economy itself has some problems but they are reasonably under control. Chinese people are working hard. The strategic industrial planning looks good. Businesses still flourish, even if many of the craziest opportunities are beyond already.
The main question is politics.
The relationships with the US is of course one of the most decisive factor. This has been framed as a “trade war” but it looks much more like a classical political conflict. Xi and Trump are playing the nationalism card to cover up for internal issues.
Both are having pressing problems within their own country and are trying to gain time by waging war. Trump is under federal investigation. Xi is pressured by its own party to pass down leadership. Time is playing against them.
Both leaders of the two most powerful countries are in unstable positions. This is not very good, to say the least. That could lead them to prefer short-sighted decision based on their own political survival to longer term investment in economic stability and global prosperity.
There is many ways this could ultimately unfold and I won't risk pronostics here.
Still, I am amazed that, after thousands of years, we humans have not been capable to figure out better ways to rule the planet than what currently exist.