This Is How The IMF “Predicted” China’s Slowdown

Over the past 5 years, the one forecast that was clear to anyone with even an introductory grasp of economics and finance, is that a Chinese economic collapse due to a gargantuan debt load and a surge in non-performing loans, is inevitable and just a matter of time. Apparently, in retrospect, this was also clear to the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, who during a press conference in Lima, said the following:

  • There is just one problem with that: of all market participants, the IMF is perhaps the only one who did not predict China’s slowdown. Quite the opposite.

    As the following chart compiling the IMF’s various quarterly economic forecasts over the past 5 years clearly shows, what the IMF had actually forecast, was a constant hockeystick rebound in China growth starting in 2011… until 2014 when the monetary fund finally gave up.

    To be “fair”, the IMF’s forecast of China’s growth “after the fact” is now so negative, it is well below the consensus projections, as the IMF is all too happy to boast:


    As for China’s slowdown being a “good move”, here are some more charts and forecasts casting doubt on this assessment:



    And the promised commentary from August 14, 2015 (by which time China’s collapse was indeed clear to all as it was about 2 years in the rearview mirror):

    The augmented debt level is also sensitive to a contingent liability shock, which would push debt to near 100 percent of GDP in 2020. Such a shock, for instance, could be a large-scale bank recapitalization or financial system bailout to deal, for example, with a potential rise in NPLs from deleveraging. A combined macrofiscal shock would increase the debt-to-GDP ratio from about 71 percent to 78 percent in 2020.

    Source: the IMF.

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    Author: Travis Esquivel

    Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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