China’s new leadership has made an aggressive push to end corruption, which has focused on putting an end to “gift-giving.”
The results of these efforts have materialised through a sharp slowdown in the catering industry, the providers of China’s most lavish private parties.
However, policymakers have also pushed to rebalance the economy as one driven by consumption, not exports. This has provided a support for China’s more legitimate lavish parties.
And it appears to have contributed to the an upside surprise in recent economic data.
“Nominal retail sales growth picked up to 13.3% y/y in June thanks to higher inflation (12.9% prior),” noted Standard Chartered’s Stephen Green. “In real terms, growth moderated somewhat to 11.7% y/y from 12.1% prior. The biggest relief here is that catering sales, hit hard by Beijing‟s anti-corruption fight this year, are showing signs of stabilisation. The growth rate appears to be settling at around 9.5% y/y (Figure 10).”
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