Topic Of The Day:-“Shape Of The Slowdown: On China’s Economy”

China’s Capacity To Manage Its Economic Transition Has Implications The World Over

The Chinese growth juggernaut is slowing down. The world’s second-largest economy has reported that its exports for December fell by 4.4%, the sharpest fall in two years amidst rising trade tensions with the United States and fears of a global economic slowdown. China’s trade surpluswith the U.S. has increased to $323 billion, its highest level since 2016 and up 17% from a year ago. This is likely to put added pressure on Chinese exports to the U.S. Besides, China’s factory activity contracted to a two-year low by the end of December while car sales in 2018 dropped for the first time since 1990, pointing to faltering demand from Chinese consumers. There are increasing fears that the Chinese government may further drop its growth target to 6% this year, from 6.5% last year. Given its implications for global growth, markets across the world have naturally been worried about the fate of the Chinese economy. Its stock market, in particular, was the worst-performing among major economies last year. Apple, Jaguar Land Rover and other companies have warned of weak earnings due to a slowdown in their sales in China. Responding to fears of a serious slowdown in the economy, the People’s Bank of China on Wednesday injected cash worth $83 billion into the economy through open market operations in order to boost bank lending and overall economic growth. It is believed that the Chinese government may be prepping for astimulus worth trillions of yuans to step up spending in the economy.China has been struggling to transition from its earlier growth model led by cheap exports and huge capital investments into a more domestic consumption-led economy. In particular, the government and the central bank have in recent years tried to wean the economy off cheap debt that fuelled its impressive growth run. The Chinese central bank fully opened the credit taps of the economy in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis that threatened to derail growth. But even as it tries to steer the economy towards more consumption-led growth, the state has been wary of allowing economic sectors like real estate that were earlier boosted by the availability of cheap credit to go bust. A true restructuring of its export- and state-led economic model will not be possible until China allows the liquidation of uneconomical projects that were begun only because of the availability of ample amounts of cheap credit. This will be the first step towards building a more market-driven economy. But it is not clear whether China is willing to bite the bullet and stop feeding its economy with cheap credit. It may be tempted to go further and look at socialising the losses coming from defaults on business loans. None of this will be good for the long-term health of the Chinese or the global economy.


1) amendment

Meaning : a minor change or addition designed to improve a text, piece of legislation, etc.

Synonyms : change

Antonyms ; damage

Example : “an amendment to existing bail laws”

2) resolved

Meaning : firmly determined to do something.

Synonyms : agree

Antonyms ; begin

Example : “Constance was resolved not to cry”

3) recognised

Meaning : identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again.

Synonyms : admit

Antonyms ; deny

Example : “I recognized her when her wig fell off”

4) Behind

Meaning : at or to the far side of something.

Synonyms : abaft

Antonyms ; front

Example : “Campbell grabbed him from behind”

5) composition

Meaning : the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up(n).

Synonyms : balance

Antonyms ; imbalance

Example : “the social composition of villages”

6) lending

Meaning : the action of allowing a person or organization the use of a sum of money under an agreement to pay it back later.

Synonyms : afford

Antonyms ; decrease

Example : “balance sheets weakened by unwise lending”

7) amidst

Meaning : surrounded by; in the middle of.

Synonyms : among

Example : “our dream home, set amid magnificent rolling countryside”

8) surplus

Meaning : an amount of something left over when requirements have been met; an excess of production or supply.

Synonyms : leftover

Antonyms ; essential

Example : “exports of food surpluses”

9) faltering

Meaning : losing strength or momentum.

Synonyms : hesitate

Antonyms ; hold

Example : “his faltering career”

10) implications

Meaning : the conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated.

Synonyms : conclusion

Antonyms ; proof

Example : “the implication is that no one person at the bank is responsible”

11) warned

Meaning : inform someone in advance of a possible danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation.

Synonyms : advised

Example : “his father had warned him of what might happen”

12) prepping

Meaning : the action or process of preparing something, or preparing for something.

Synonyms : discipline

Antonyms ; idleness

Example : “after hours of prepping and cooking and stressing and a few near-breakdowns, Thanksgiving was wonderful”

13) stimulus

Meaning : a thing or event that evokes a specific functional reaction in an organ or tissue.

Synonyms : impetus

Antonyms ; block

Example : “areas of the brain which respond to auditory stimuli”

14) struggling

Meaning : striving to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance.

Synonyms : cope

Antonyms ; forget

Example : “these figures suggest more bad news for struggling homeowners”

15) wean

Meaning : accustom (someone) to managing without something which they have become dependent on.

Synonyms : discourage

Example : “the doctor tried to wean her off the sleeping pills”

16) impressive

Meaning : evoking admiration through size, quality, or skill; grand, imposing, or awesome.(adj)

Synonyms : dramatic

Antonyms ; insignificant

Example : “an impressive view of the mountains”

17) aftermath

Meaning : the consequences or after-effects of a significant unpleasant event.

Synonyms : impact

Antonyms ; cause

Example : “food prices soared in the aftermath of the drought”

18) steer

Meaning : guide or control the movement of (a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft), for example by turning a wheel or operating a rudder.

Synonyms : govern

Antonyms ; abandon

Example : “he steered the boat slowly towards the busy quay”

19) wary

Meaning : feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems.

Synonyms : attentive

Antonyms ; careless

Example : “dogs which have been mistreated often remain very wary of strangers”

20) further

Meaning : more distant in space than something else of the same kind.

Synonyms : more

Example : “two men were standing at the further end of the clearing”

21) ample

Meaning : enough or more than enough; plentiful.

Synonyms : bountiful

Antonyms ; cramped

Example : “there is ample time for discussion”

22) tempted

Meaning : entice or try to entice (someone) to do something that they find attractive but know to be wrong or unwise.

Synonyms : allured

Antonyms ; disinclined

Example : “there’ll always be someone tempted by the rich pickings of poaching”

23) defaults

Meaning : failure to fulfil an obligation, especially to repay a loan or appear in a law court.

Synonyms : absence

Antonyms ; abundance

Example : “the company will have to restructure its debts to avoid default”

24) feeding

Meaning : supply with material or power.

Synonyms : deliver

Antonyms ; deplete

Example : “a radial circuit fed by a 20 amp fuse”

25) consumption

Meaning : the action of using up a resource.

Synonyms : drinking

Antonyms ; creation

Example : “industrialized countries should reduce their energy consumption”