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人民币贬值显示中国经济下行压力增加

更新时间:2015-8-13 19:28:52 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Devaluation Hints at China’s Rising Distress Over Economy
人民币贬值显示中国经济下行压力增加

HONG KONG — Whenever China’s economy swooned in recent downturns, its currency never buckled. It held steady, or strengthened, even as China’s neighbors or trading partners scrambled to cut the value of their own currencies to deal with the fallout.

香港——在最近乏力的经济形势下,无论经济如何下行,中国的货币从未示弱。就在邻国或贸易伙伴争相让自己的货币贬值,以应对中国经济衰退带来的影响时,中国的货币仍保持稳定或走强。

With the Chinese renminbi now taking its biggest plunge in decades, the worry is that the country’s already slowing economy is even worse off and the government is panicking.

当前,人民币出现数十年来最大幅度的贬值。外界担心,本就日渐走软的中国经济情况甚至更糟,且政府也感到恐慌。

By the official measures, the economy is growing at 7 percent, right in line with government targets. It is a steady pace that the leadership has indicated can support decent job growth and put more money into consumers’ pockets.

根据官方数据,中国经济正在以7%的速度增长,完全符合政府的目标。这是一个稳定的增长速度。中国领导人表示,这种增幅能支撑就业实现不错的增长,并增加消费者的收入。

But a look below the surface shows a different, more worrisome picture.

但透过表面现象,便会看到一种更令人不安的不同景象。

Core parts of the economy, like construction, are weaker than ever as the real estate industry struggles. Consumer spending, which was supposed to pick up the slack, is not that strong. And financial services, a major driver of economic growth when the stock market was booming, are slipping.

随着房地产行业身陷困境,建筑等核心经济领域比以往任何时候都更疲软。本应对经济起到提振作用的消费支出,也没有那么强劲。并且曾在股市繁荣时充当经济增长主要动力的金融服务的表现,也出现了下滑。

The data coming out of China, too, is somewhat suspect. Economists now wonder whether, despite official figures showing growth, some provinces and regions could be dealing with outright recessions.

而且中国提供的数据也有些可疑。尽管官方数据显示增长,但经济学家现在好奇的是,部分省份和地区是否有能力应对全面的衰退。

“To be honest, no one has a clue where the economy is, and I don’t think that it’s properly measured,” said Viktor Szabo, a senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. “Definitely there is a slowdown. You can have an argument about what level it is, but it’s not 7 percent,” he added.

“老实说,没有人知道经济的现状如何,我不认为它得到了恰当的衡量,”安本资产管理(Aberdeen Asset Management)的高级投资经理维克多·萨博(Viktor Szabo)说,“经济放缓肯定是有的。至于放缓到何种程度,你可以有不同意见,但肯定不是 7%。”

The government’s aggressive action on the currency has brought the economy into sharp focus.

中国政府在汇率上采取的积极行动,让这种经济状况成为引人瞩目的焦点。

China allowed the renminbi to weaken even further on Wednesday after a sharp devaluation the previous day. The currency’s official fixing against the dollar is down 3.5 percent over the last two days. On a typical day, the renminbi rises or falls just a small fraction of a percentage point.

人民币在本周二急剧贬值之后,中国又任由它在周三进一步下挫。过去两天里,人民币对美元的官方汇率共下跌了3.5%。而通常来说,人民币单日的涨跌幅度远远低于1%。

While the government said the decision was intended to make the currency more market oriented, the devaluation was also largely a gift to exporters. In relative terms, it makes China’s shipments of clothing or electronics to consumers in the United States or Europe more affordable.

虽然中国政府表示,这个决定是为了让人民币变得更加市场化,但贬值在很大程度上也是向出口商送上的大礼。相对而言,这会让美国或欧洲消费者,以更实惠的价格购买产自中国的服装或电子产品。

“I don’t see this mini-devaluation as some kind of outrageous act,” said George Magnus, an economic adviser to the bank UBS and an associate at Oxford University’s China center. “But it is part of an array of other economic and financial stimulus measures designed to shore up the flagging growth rate.”

“我不认为这种小幅贬值是过分的举动,”瑞银(UBS)经济顾问、牛津大学(Oxford University)中国中心研究员乔治·马格努斯(George Magnus)说。“但它是旨在促进增长的一系列经济和财政刺激措施的一部分。”

The government has taken the usual steps by cutting interest rates and freeing up more money for banks to lend. But the leadership has also turned to more unconventional means in recent months to try to cushion the blow as the economy’s once-runaway expansion sinks back to earth.

政府已经采取了一些常规措施,包括降低利率,为银行松绑更多的资金以便发放贷款。但是在最近几个月,随着一度失控的经济扩张严重萎缩,领导层也采用了更多非常规的手段,试图为其提供一些缓冲。

It relaxed a rule that banned investment companies tied to local governments from piling on debt. When the stock market slumped, it aggressively moved to halt the slide. It has also pledged tens of billions of dollars in support to state-controlled policy banks for loans to favored projects.

它放宽了一项不允许地方政府下属的投资公司举债的禁令。在股市急跌时,它采取了激进的托市措施。它还承诺为国有政策性银行提供数以百亿美元计的支持,好让它们为扶持项目发放贷款。

China’s plan has been to wean itself off a debt-driven growth model that has led to wasteful, government-led investment. Instead, policy makers want consumers to become the main engine for the economy, but that will take time.

中国计划逐步放弃以债务驱动的增长模式。该模式导致了由政府牵头且十分浪费的投资。现在,政策制定者想让消费者成为推动经济的主要动力,但这需要时间。

They hoped to maintain growth by keeping credit flowing to favored projects, a nationwide program that amounts to trillions of renminbi worth of investment in new infrastructure. The money is going to redevelop shantytowns, expand road and rail networks and build wastewater treatment facilities.

他们希望通过持续为扶持项目提供贷款,来维持增长。这是一个全国性的计划,总共将投资数万亿元兴修基础设施。这些钱将用于改造棚户区、拓宽公路和铁路网络,以及修建废水处理设施。

In the city of Liupanshui in Guizhou, one of China’s least affluent provinces, the local government is building its first subway line. Local officials hope to bring in private investment to help finance the line, which is to be 49 kilometers long, at a budget of 10 billion renminbi, or about $1.6 billion.

贵州是中国最不富裕的省份之一。在该省的六盘水市,当地政府正在修建首条地铁线。当地官员希望引入私人投资,来帮助为这条线路提供资金,线路建成后全长49公里,预算100亿人民币。

But such efforts have not been enough.

但这样的举措还不够。

Infrastructure investment is rising, but it has failed to offset the nationwide pullback in spending on new factories and apartment block towers. In July, overall investment in fixed assets rose 11.2 percent, the slowest increase in 15 years.

基础设施投资正在增加,但还是未能抵消全国范围内,针对新建工厂和公寓大楼投资的减少。7月,固定资产投资总体增加11.2%,是15年来增速最慢的。

The troubles can be seen in midtier cities like Zhanjiang, on the southern coast, which is home to the navy fleet that patrols the South China Sea. While property prices in major metropolises like Shenzhen or Beijing have rebounded, those are exceptions. Prices of new homes in Zhanjiang fell 9.8 percent in June from a year earlier, the most recent data available.

在像湛江这样的中等城市,就能看到存在的问题。在南海巡逻的海军船只,便停靠在位于南部沿海的湛江。尽管在深圳和北京这样的大城市,房价已出现回升,但它们都是特例。能找到的距今最近的数据显示,6月,湛江新房价格同比下降了9.8%。

China’s builders just aren’t building as much.

中国建筑企业的建设活动也减少了。

For years, double-digit growth was the norm in construction materials, as cities and towns across the country went on a building spree. That situation has reversed sharply, and output of many crucial materials has been declining this year.

多年来,随着全国各地的城镇疯狂盖楼,建材行业两位数的增长成为常态。但今年,形势急剧逆转,很多至关重要的材料一直在减产。

Cement output fell 5 percent by volume last month, while plate glass production declined 13.5 percent. Steel output fell 1.8 percent in July, the most on record. Exports of steel soared as mills, many of them operating at a loss and unable to find buyers at home, shipped their excess stock overseas.

上月,水泥产量减少5%,而平板玻璃的产量则下降了13.5%。7月的钢铁产量下降1.8%,属有史以来最大跌幅。由于无法在国内找到买家,很多钢厂亏损经营,继而将多余的库存运往海外,致使钢铁出口量飙升。

Consumers aren’t yet able to shoulder the burden of driving the economy. While incomes are still rising, the job market has started to show signs of stress. Vacancies are declining across the market as companies reduce hiring in response to slowing business growth.

消费者还无法承担起提振经济的重担。尽管收入仍在增加,但就业市场已开始显露出承压迹象。随着公司在业务增长日渐放缓的影响下缩小招聘规模,整个市场上的空缺岗位数量正在减少。

The stock market slump has also taken a toll, with the main Shanghai index down about a quarter from its peak two months ago. Ordinary investors have poured money into the markets over the last year, and many are now sitting on losses.

股市暴跌也带来恶果。和两个月前的最高位相比,主要股指上证指数下跌约四分之一。过去一年里,散户纷纷把资金投入股市。而现在,很多人都是亏损状态。

The overall result is that consumers are spending less.

总体结果就是,消费者的支出减少了。

Retail sales grew 10.5 percent in July from a year earlier, near their slowest pace in a decade. Big multinationals that sell heavily into the China market, like LVMH, the spirits and luxury goods retailer, or Yum Brands, which operates KFC and Pizza Hut fast food chains, have seen their share prices suffer since the renminbi’s devaluation.

7月,零售业销售额同比增长10.5%,接近十年来的最慢增速。自人民币贬值以来,大量面向中国市场销售的大型跨国公司,如烈酒和奢侈品零售商LVMH,及旗下拥有肯德基和必胜客快餐连锁的百胜(Yum Brands),股价都受到了影响。

Even e-commerce companies, held up by China’s leaders as builders of a new economy, have not escaped the rout. Shares in Alibaba, in New York, and Tencent, traded in Hong Kong, have both declined over the last two days.

电子商务企业曾被中国领导人称赞为新经济的建设者。但就连它们也未能躲过冲击。过去两天里,在纽约上市的阿里巴巴和在香港上市的腾讯,股价双双下挫。

One irony of the fallout from the central bank’s move to devalue the currency: In the long term, freeing up exchange rates would give it another powerful tool for managing economic slowdowns, just like the one China faces now.

对于中国央行让人民币贬值这一举动的影响,颇具讽刺意味的一点是,从长远来看,放开汇率会让它拥有另一个强大的工具,可以用来管理与中国现在面临的这一轮放缓类似的经济衰退。

“Having an exchange rate that adjusts means that other parts of the economy, like interest rates or wages, don’t have to adjust so much,” said Arthur Kroeber, the managing director at Gavekal Dragonomics, a financial consultancy in Beijing.

“让汇率可以浮动,意味着经济中的其他组成部分,如利率或工资,不用进行太大的调整,”北京的金融咨询公司龙洲经讯(GaveKal Dragonomics)总经理葛艺豪(Arthur Kroeber)说。

“The economy has clearly been weakening, and basically they have tied one hand behind their back,” he added, “because they’ve been unwilling to let the renminbi go down against the dollar, which is what the market would have done if it had been left to itself.”

“经济明显一直在走软,而他们基本上把一只手背在身后,”他接着说,“因为他们一直不愿让人民币相对于美元贬值。如果任其浮动,市场就这么做了。”

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