【双语】中国经济:是新的波动形式而非新周期

发布:2017-10-13 14:46 来源: 《中国外汇》2017年第17期 作者:巴曙松 朱虹
进入2017年以来,中国多项经济数据有所回暖:不仅经济增长总量连续同比上升,消费、出口贸易等细项数据也出现连续改善。基于经济数据的短期回暖,关于中国经济是否即将开启一轮“新周期”的讨论也在持续进行。对此,笔者认为,一方面,国内并不具备能够从结构上显著影响经济增长的条件和因素,另一方面,全球经济总体上复苏乏力,逆全球化思潮仍在蔓延;因此,中国目前的经济状况更多应属于一种新的波动形式,尚不能称为一个新周期的开始。

China's economic data has been moderately positive since the beginning of this year. Economic growth has been slightly better-than-expected while exports and domestic consumption have improved while gains have been made in other areas as well. As a result of this short-term upturn,there has been considerable debate about whether the Chinese economy is entering a "new growth cycle." But from a structural perspective,the economy does not really possess factors that will produce a significant rise in economic growth in the longer term. At the same time,the recovery of the global economy remains weak and anti-globalization sentiment is spreading,creating circumstances that are not favorable to China's exports. China's current economic situation should be seen as something closer to renewed volatility rather than the beginning of a new and more robust economic cycle.

从国内自身的角度来看,新周期需要通过要素重塑经济增长的供给端与需求端;而当前,中国经济及金融体系仍处在出清过程中,只是呈现出新的波动特征,算不上进入新周期。

A new cycle requires a reshaping of the demand and supply side of the economic growth picture. At present,China's financial system and the economy as whole are in the process of shedding inventories. This is not the start of a new cycle.

经济周期是宏观经济体在发展过程中的趋势和节奏变换,因此,要判断一轮新周期开始的起点,也需将视野拉长,对经济增长的影响因素加以分析。从国内外经济周期启动的经验看,新周期启动往往需要有低要素价格、低资金价格和新的增长点等条件。其中,低要素价格主要取决于人口增长的长期影响,以及新技术带动下劳动生产率的提高,推动生产要素成本的一次性下降和人力资本的相对价值重估。低资金价格则体现为在降息、降准以外的、对金融去杠杆改革和新的融资渠道的拓展。更值得关注的是,新周期的启动需通过发掘新的增长点刺激需求端,形成长期可持续的经济增长动力。

The economic cycle marks a change in the rhythm of the macroeconomic system. In order to judge when this occurs we need to analyze the factors that affect economic growth. From the experience of domestic and international economic cycles,the start of a new cycle requires low factor prices,low capital costs and new growth conditions. Low factor prices depend mainly on the long-term impact of population growth,improved labor productivity,the promotion of a one-time decline in the cost of production and a relative revaluation of human capital as a result of new technological breakthroughs. Low capital prices are reflected in the reforms that produce financial deleveraging and extend new financing channels,alongside cuts in interest rates and the bank deposit reserve ratio. It is more noteworthy that the start of a new cycle requires the exploration of new growth points to stimulate demand and form sustainable,long-term economic growth momentum.

首先,影响国内要素价格的渠道之一是人口结构的长期趋势性变动,而我国老龄化带来的劳动力供给下降,则直接拖累了经济的潜在产出。2010年,中国开始出现人口红利拐点:15—64岁的劳动年龄人口增长率持续为负,人口老龄化趋势形成。这直接影响着供给端劳动力和需求端总人口的双重边际变化。供给端方面,劳动人口的边际降低将影响人力资本的存量,并进一步影响劳动要素价格;需求端方面,总人口的边际减少将在中长期内对住房需求产生结构性影响。

One of the channels that influence domestic factor prices is long-term population growth,specifically the decline in the labor supply as a result of China's aging population. This has a direct impact on the economy's potential economic output. In 2010,China saw a demographic turning point as the growth in the working age population (individuals from 15 to 64 years of age) continued its decline,indicating an aging population. This directly affects the marginal changes in the labor force supply and demand. On the supply side,the marginal decline of the labor force will affect the stock of human capital and further affect the price of labor. On the demand side,the marginal reduction of the total population will have a structural impact on the demand for housing over the medium and longer term.

化解人口老龄化趋势对经济增速拖累的方法在于通过结构性改革,改善人力资本的供给质量。以人口老龄化最为严重的日本为例。尽管劳动力数量的下降对日本经济增长产生了负向影响,但人力资本质量的改善也在对其经济增长动力形成正向贡献。在当前的时点上,中国人口进入老龄化阶段已得到确认,老龄化的不可逆特征将使人力成本长期处在相对高位。因此,在推出使得劳动力供给结构进一步改善的重大改革之前,要素价格方面并不支持新周期的开启。

The way to solve the problem of the drag on economic growth from an aging population is to improve the quality of human capital through structural reforms. Take Japan as the example,which has a serious problem with an aging population. Although the decline in the size of the labor force has had a negative impact on Japan's economic growth,the improvement in human capital quality is a positive contributor to economic growth momentum. At present,China's population is already aging. This will add to labor costs over the longer term. As a result,factor prices do not support the opening of a new cycle until major reforms can be introduced to further improve the labor supply structure.

其次,从资金要素层面看,当前中国国内的融资成本与历史水平相比仍然处于相对偏高的水平。引起融资成本上升的原因之一,是融资通道的复杂化。因此,在经济、金融体系的去杠杆取得实质性进展之前,资金环境可能会促进经济波动的短期回暖,但并不足以支撑经济进入新周期。近年来,中国各类金融机构进入快速发展期,金融行业的资产规模扩张迅速。金融业过度繁荣带来的问题是,在资金流转的过程中,脱虚向实的链条被明显拉长,资金在经历更多的环节和机构分成之后,实体部门的融资成本也会有所上升。金融去杠杆的实质是拆解这一被拉长的环节,促进整个交易过程的透明度提升;但由于金融杠杆与实体部门杠杆存在相互交叉的问题,如果金融去杠杆进程过猛,对于企业融资产生的压力也会相应上升。在当前的经济“稳增长”和“控风险”的双重目标下,去杠杆政策会更注重控制降低现有杠杆率和缓解企业融资压力之间的节奏,因此,资金成本的降低不可能一蹴而就。从这个意义上说,新周期的开启也需要融资渠道的拓宽以及去杠杆取得进一步成效后再加以讨论。

From the perspective of capital,domestic financing costs are still at a relatively high level when compared with historical levels. One reason for the rise in financing costs is the complexity of financing channels. If there is substantial progress in deleveraging,the financial environment may promote more short-term economic fluctuations,but not enough to create a new economic cycle. In recent years,China has seen rapid development of the financial sector with numerous types of financial institutions gaining footholds. One problem for China is the lengthy lag time from financial sector activities to affect the real economy. The essence of financial deleveraging is to dismantle this elongated link and promote transparency across the entire transaction process. However,excessive financial deleveraging could cause corresponding upward pressure on enterprise financing. In the current economic environment where policy makers have set the twin goals of achieving steady growth and controlling risk,there is a great need for controlling leveraging and easing pressure on corporate financing. As a result,it is clear that funding costs cannot be reduced overnight. In this sense,only when financing channels are broadened and further deleveraging has been achieved can it be said that a new cycle is about to begin.

最后,新周期的出现取决于经济环境内外部能否发掘出新的、带动效应明显的增长点,并刺激需求端,形成长期可持续的经济动力。按照“波峰-波谷”法,可以将中国改革开放以来的GDP增长率划分为三个大的周期。从各轮经济周期的扩张期看,第一轮经济周期(1981年至1990年)主要得益于改革开放的提出,第二轮经济周期(1991年至1998年)得益于社会主义市场经济体制实施带来的红利,第三轮经济周期(1999年至今)则受到加入世贸组织和重工业化的双重带动,也离不开通过金融兜底和国企破产兼并化解国企的巨量债务,以及房改、税改等改革措施。不难看到,中国经济每一轮新周期的形成,基本都处于大的制度红利释放期。

The emergence of a new growth cycle depends on whether the external and internal environment permits the emergence of new and obvious growth points for the sustainable future. If we look at China's peak to trough economic data,starting with the reform and opening up in 1978-1979,GDP growth rates can be divided into three major cycles. The first economic cycle (1981 to 1990) was mainly followed the launch of the reform and opening program. The second cycle (1991 to 1998) benefited from the dividend brought about by the implementation of the socialist market economy,and the third cycle (1999 to date) showed gains from the accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and heavy industrialization. This was also closely linked to the financial and corporate mergers and acquisitions aimed at resolving large amounts of corporate debt,together with tax reform and other reform measures. It is obvious that the start of a new cycle of China's economy basically presents new economic dividends.

全球经济新周期尚不明确

Global Economic Cycle

从中国经济的外部环境看,当前世界经济复苏缓慢,全球经济的新周期尚不明确。这也会直接影响到中国经济的波动。

The current world economic recovery is slow,and there is no clear evidence of a new cycle,and that will inject volatility into China's economy.

中国经济发展大转型与世界经济增长动力转换是并行交织的。经济、金融的全球化使得全球各经济体之间的经济依存度不断增强,拓宽了全球冲击向各国外溢的渠道,也使得任何一个经济体的经济运行无法脱离全球经济周期而独自存在。即便当前逆全球化思潮泛起,也并没有改变这一趋势。客观上说,中国经济增长既是全球增长的重要贡献力量,同时也受全球经济轮动的直接影响。长期而言,不同国家之间的宏观经济增长因为相互影响而具有较强的同步性。

China's economic development and the transformation of world economic growth through globalization are intertwined. Economic and financial globalization has increased interdependence,increasing the likelihood of a global impact from shocks to any major component of the global system. Even the current trend against further globalization has not reversed this trend of deeper economic integration. China's economic growth is an important contributor to global growth,but it is subject to a continuing global economic rotation. Over the longer term,macroeconomic growth of countries around the world will display a considerable amount of synchronization and mutual influence.

近期中国经济数据的回暖,出口贸易的繁荣是主要贡献力量之一。随着欧美杠杆修复的相继完成,美国率先引领全球经济复苏;欧盟在进一步量化宽松政策的刺激下,经济增长亦有所恢复。全球经济企稳回升,构成了中国国内贸易短期复苏的基础。但如果从全球经济需求是否长期可持续这一角度来分析,结论并不十分乐观。当前,全球经济弱复苏主要来源于发达经济体宽松的宏观政策刺激,且欧美的经济复苏并未恢复到金融危机前的水平(从进口需求角度可以间接得到验证),日本和新兴市场国家更是依旧处于经济复苏乏力的状态(日本还面临着高杠杆率与货币政策、财政政策扩张相互掣肘的问题)。鉴于全球经济增长同步性的升高,总体呈现弱复苏态势的全球经济,尚不足以支撑中国经济开启新的周期。

The health of the export sector is one contributor to China's economic recovery. The United States took the lead in the global economic recovery and the European Union has also regained its economic footing. The stabilization of the global economy formed the basis of a recovery in China's domestic trade. But the outlook for long term stability of the global economy is not all that reassuring. At present,the global recovery is mainly due to the super loose monetary policies of the developed economies. The economies of the United States and the European Union are still not entirely at pre-crisis levels,while Japan and emerging market countries remain in a relatively weak state. In view of the increasing synchronization of the global economy,the global economic weakness is a significant obstacle to a new cycle for the Chinese economy.

从更长期的供给端因素考虑,全球经济结构的调整至今并未取得实质进展,仍面临着人口老龄化带来的劳动生产率瓶颈;而且,旧模式积累的国家债务杠杆高企、过长时期内的低利率与低投资并存等问题也仍未好转。此外,已有的研究表明,在经济低迷的过程中,采取结构性改革和货币或财政政策刺激叠加的方式带动经济基本面的回升效果,具有时间上的不确定性,通常会滞后政策实施的若干期后才逐渐显现效果。从全球的视角看,能带动全球经济走出当前低迷状况、从而成为全球经济周期新动力的新增长点出现的时点尚不明确。

From the perspective of longer-term supply factors,there has been only limited progress in adjusting the global economic structure. One key reason is labor productivity bottlenecks brought about by an aging population. Moreover,there is a need to deal with problems stemming from the accumulation of state debt under an outdated economic model and low interest rates,coupled with lagging levels of investment. In addition,research shows that in periods of economic sluggishness,structural reforms and monetary or fiscal stimulus will have an effect on the economic performance but the time required is difficult to determine. The policies may take years to implement and it is unclear when will there be new growth points to create an impetus for a new global economic cycle.

新周期与硬着陆之外的第三条路径

Another Path

从中国经济自身和外部环境两方面考察,中国经济当前并没有开启新的周期,但中国经济也不大可能出现硬着陆。笔者认为,当前的中国经济更可能走出第三条路径,即呈现新的波动方式。具体来讲,就是总量相对稳定下的窄幅波动与结构优化。

If China's domestic economy and the external environment are taken into account,the economy has not started a new cycle,but it is not likely to have a hard landing. The current Chinese economy is more likely to follow a third path,which is growth that continues to show relative weakness and fluctuates within a narrow band.

从历史角度看,新周期的开启往往需要有重大结构性改革的推进,而结构性改革在短期内往往可能会对经济产生一定程度的抑制作用。这就意味着,经济开启新周期的先决条件,并非是短期内经济总量增速的绝对上升,而是经济抗风险能力的加强,以保证结构性改革进程中不会由于经济架构的脆弱而产生叠加的风险和下行压力。

From a historical point of view,the start of the new cycle often requires the advancement of major structural reforms. Such reforms tend to be a drag on economic growth in the short term. This suggests that the prerequisites for the economy to start a new cycle are not an absolute increase in growth in the short term,but rather the enhancement of the economy's ability to prevent risk.

2016年以来,国内去产能叠加环保限产等已在一定程度上将工业带出通缩。2017年,环保的约束继续强化,企业盈利有所改善,资产负债表有所修复,从微观实体企业的层面为结构改革和需求释放创造了适宜的时间窗口。但站在当下时点,中国宏观经济在整体上仍面临产能过剩、资本配置扭曲以及收入结构、产业结构等问题,经济并未摆脱对地产和基建的依赖,部分行业的产能过剩也依然严重,以新需求或技术驱动的可持续、高效投资尚未形成。在旧的增长模式尚未完全出清的背景下,当前中国经济尚处于除旧布新、孕育新的增长动力和优化结构的过程中,支撑经济增长的力量还比较脆弱。因此,中国经济当前更可能的形态是,在现有的经济增长率下,保持窄幅波动下的稳速增长,通过破产处置、政府救助等方式逐项化解实体经济与金融市场存在的扭曲与错配,修复国家资产负债表,优化经济结构,并为新的、可能的重大结构性改革构建更健康的经济金融环境。

Since 2016,there have been significant strides in reversing deflation as a result of the efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity and the need to protect the environment from some types of production. In 2017,environmental regulations have been further strengthened and the effects on wholesale prices have helped improve corporate earnings and repaired balance sheets. This has set the stage for structural reforms. But China is still facing industrial overcapacity and distortions in capital allocation while industry faces other structural issues. The economy remains too heavily dependent on real estate and infrastructure. Sustainable and efficient investment driven by new demand or new technology has not yet emerged in sufficient quantities. Support for economic growth is still relatively fragile. Therefore,the current form of China's economy is more likely to maintain a steady growth within a narrow range. Bankruptcies and government assistance are likely to resolve some of the economic distortions as well as the mismatch between the real economy and financial markets. Efforts to repair the national balance sheet and optimize the nation's economic structure need further efforts if China is to build a healthier economic and financial environment.

本质上,经济的驱动力不同,是一个经济发展阶段的问题。当驱动力发生变化时,经济增长速率的相应改变是其自然结果。使宏观经济增长稳定在当前水平,并不断修复经济结构,寻找经济的动态优化规律,应是中国经济当下这一阶段的关注重点。事实上,2015年以来,中国企业微观盈利和经济结构两个维度都一直在进行着调整和优化。从企业的负债率角度看,过去几年已出现了较为明显的改善。

Changes in the driving forces of an economy are closely linked to the state of a nation's economic development. When those economic drivers shift,a change in the economic growth rate is a natural result. Stabilizing macroeconomic growth at current levels,continuing to upgrade the economic structure and finding ways to optimize economic drivers should be a focus of China's economic policy makers. Since 2015,there have been significant improvements in a number of areas,noticeably in corporate profitability and the reduction of corporate debt. These gains need to be extended.

中国经济结构的调整方面以及消费内部结构的变动,也是值得关注的趋势。需求端的消费超过投资成为贡献经济增长的首要因素,是部分观点认为中国经济开启新周期的重要论据之一。对此,笔者认为:鉴于社会消费总额增速的提高并不显著,消费总量的趋稳尚不能认为是新周期的开始;但消费内部的结构变化仍是在当前经济发展阶段中值得关注的结构性变化。

The structural adjustment of China's economy and changes to the pattern of domestic consumption require greater attention. Demand-side spending has been one of the key contributors to economic growth,but the economy is now excessively dependent on this spending. As the increase in total social consumption is not significant,it is difficult to argue that the economy has reached the beginning of a new growth cycle. Structural changes in domestic consumption need to be achieved before this can be determined conclusively.

消费的长期驱动力既与收入水平相关,也与人口年龄结构相关,而二者均是影响经济增长的长期因素。理论上,一国人均收入发展水平与消费结构具有较为稳定的关系。国际经验显示,当人均GDP达到1万美元附近时,居民人均收入将处于相对富裕的阶段。当前,中国人均GDP已达到8100美元以上,相当于日本20世纪70年代的中后期水平。而在20世纪50年代,当美国居民人均收入达到这一水平时,美国的消费结构也出现了显著变化。近年来,中国城乡居民的消费支出也呈现出食品类、衣着类比例不断下降,医疗保健类、文教娱乐等服务类支出上升的趋势。以此可以推知,尽管经济增长的新周期并未开启,但经济内部结构的转变也正改变着资产价格对经济增长的影响渠道。理解总量稳定下的经济结构性的变化,将更有助于理解经济长期运行和政策调控的着力点。

The long-term driving force for consumption is related to income levels and the age of the population,and these are long-term factors affecting economic growth. In theory,a country's per capita income development level and consumption structure have a stable relationship. When per capita gross domestic product (GDP) reaches US$10,000,we can say that per capita income will reach a level of relative affluence. At present,China's per capita GDP has reached more than US$8,100,equivalent to Japan in the 1970s. In the 1950s,when the per capita income of the United States reached this level,the structure of US consumption showed significant changes. In recent years,consumer spending by China's urban and rural residents showed a decline in the proportion of spending on food and clothing,while there were significant increases in spending on health care,entertainment,education and other services. It can be inferred that,although the new cycle of economic growth has not yet started,the internal structure of the economy is changing the effects of asset prices on economic growth. Understanding these structural changes in the economy will help our understanding of longer term economic patterns and the required direction of policy regulation.

总之,随着供给侧改革的深化和推进,在产能逐渐出清、金融杠杆逐步去化的过程中,中短期价格的阶段性变化容易导致市场预期发生调整,进而引发短期内经济数据发生正向或反向波动。这也是一种必然的现象。在实体经济风险与金融风险逐步出清的过程中,关注中国经济结构的问题和正在发生的动态优化,将更有利于理解经济运行的脉络。特别是经历了增长速度的持续回落之后,中国经济运行将呈现典型的窄幅波动的态势。未来,在旧增长模式累积的问题出清、国企混合所有制改革等重大结构性改革加速后,可以预期,中国经济将通过提振经济整体生产率而迎来新周期。而目前的发展阶段,只能说中国经济运行出现了一系列新的波动特征,尚不能被视为经济新周期的开启。

The deepening of supply side reforms coupled with a gradual trend towards financial deleveraging and a reduction of industrial overcapacity will result in short and medium-term price fluctuations. Naturally,this may lead to fluctuations in the near term economic performance and could create changes in market expectations. As risks to the economy and financial system are addressed,studying China's economic structure and the occurrence of dynamic optimization will be more conducive to understanding the economic direction. In the future,if the problems accumulated under the old growth model are addressed and removed and major structural reforms such as replacing state-owned enterprises with companies of mixed ownership,it is expected that the economy will enter a new cycle where there is greater productivity. At this point in the nation's economic development,it can only be said that the economy is exhibiting new characteristics. China cannot be regarded as on the verge of a new economic cycle.

作者巴曙松教授系中国银行业协会首席经济学家,香港交易所首席中国经济学家

Ba Shusong is chief economist of China Banking Association and chief economist of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited.

作者朱虹博士单位:中再资产管理股份有限公司投资与创新研究中心

Zhu Hong is from Investment and Innovation Research Center at China Re Asset Management Company,Ltd.

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