Bulletin – December Quarter 2014 Chinese Rebalancing and Australian Exports Abstract

The Chinese authorities plan to gradually rebalance the composition of Chinese economic growth from investment towards household consumption. This article uses the World Input-Output Database (WIOD) to give a general sense of how this rebalancing might affect Australian exports and economic activity. Dollar for dollar, Chinese investment appears to absorb more than twice as much Australian value-added output as Chinese household consumption. This largely reflects the significant role of resource commodities in Australia's exports to China, which are used more intensively in investment than consumption. Simple analysis using the WIOD suggests that a shift from investment to consumption in China is likely to weigh on the growth of demand for Australia's mineral resources, although a rise in demand by Chinese households for food products and services could provide some offset.

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