China’s auto market has gone ex-growth, as the above chart shows. Monthly sales in July (red square) were the 2nd lowest since July 2010.
This would be bad enough in the West, where average incomes are ~$40k/year. But China is a relatively poor country:
• Average urban household income was $2810 last year
• Average rural household income was just $870
Food and energy costs therefore take up a very high proportion of ordinary people’s income.
This means China will have to do more to control inflation. Bank lending, the main agent of growth since 2008, will have to be further reduced. In turn, the government will therefore likely aim to preserve jobs via increasing exports again.
This is already emerging as a key risk in auto markets, as the blog will discuss tomorrow.