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China's Economy is Slowing and That's Really Bad News for Africa

Pretty much every major economic indicator suggests that the Chinese economy will continue its downward momentum in 2019. Industrial production, retail sales, and even the once red-hot property market are all showing real signs of weakness. Some economists even believe that economic growth in China next year will even fall below the psychologically important six percent level.

Source: Bloomberg News

This is all potentially very troubling news for Africa that is becoming increasingly dependent on the Chinese market to buy its resources and as the primary source of investment capital. And in several African countries, the value of local currencies is effectively linked to Chinese economic data. The South African rand, for example, is valued in line with almost everything that happens in the Chinese economy. 

This shouldn’t come as a tremendous surprise given China’s outsized role in South Africa and as Africa’s predominant trading partner.

Beijing-based economist Jeremy Stevens closely studies the Chinese economy and its impact on African risk for his clients at Standard Advisory China, a unit of Africa’s largest bank Standard Bank. He joins Eric this week to discuss the Chinese economic outlook for 2019 and what the implications are for Chinese trade and investment with Africa.

Show Notes:

About Jeremy Stevens:

Jeremy Stevens is an international economist for the Standard Bank Group, based in Beijing, China.

Jeremy’s research gives special attention to the Chinese economy, and how the shift towards a multipolar world is re‐calibrating Africa’s external and internal dynamics. His papers have been presented at the FOCAC Summits (Egypt in 2009 and Beijing 2012), the AfDB, ADB, OECD, IMF, WB and at a host of other regional and local gatherings and conferences. He advises Standard Bank’s clients and African central banks, policymakers and corporates on developments in the Chinese economy and financial markets. In addition, he works with Chinese corporates, policy banks and think tanks on opportunities in Africa.

Jeremy frequently comments across a host of international media forums, including Bloomberg, CNBC, the Economist, the Financial Times, Reuters, and Wall Street Journal. Moroever, he regularily contributes to China’s domestic media, including CCTV, China Daily, Caijing, China Securities Journal and elsewhere.

Jeremy also writes the weekly Inside China newsletter that features a mix of insights, data and analysis on the Chinese economy. To subscribe email Jeremy directly at


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