True, the first quarter of 2019 yielded better-than-expe



Comments Off on True, the first quarter of 2019 yielded better-than-expe

ted results. But the higher rate of FAI growth was to a large extent driven by a strong increase in investment in real estate, which is l

ikely to weaken sooner or later owing to the government’s commitment to cooling China’s “real-esta

te fever”. And, given the trade frictions with the US, China’s export performance for the rest of 2019 is highly uncertain.

To compensate for declining investment in real estate and weakening exports, China must maintain reasonable growth in inf

rastructure investment. To that end, the government should pursue higher spending (taking advantage of a strong fis

cal position), supported by accommodative monetary policy (amid very low inflation).

Fiscal and monetary expansion may be out of fashion among China’s mainstream economists, who insist that struct

ural adjustment must be the priority. But it could go a long way toward bolstering China’s economic per

formance in 2019, without impeding structural reform. The challenge is to strike the right balance.