HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — China’s consumption boom is drawing to a close, according to one economist’s contrarian view, which calls for no growth — or even a contraction — in the Chinese economy and the advent of an era of deflation and weaker spending.
Investments leveraged to the rise of the Chinese consumer, ranging from Australian miners to luxury-handbag makers and even iPhones are due for a reality check, according to Jim Walker, founder and managing director of the Hong Kong-based economic research company Asianomics.
While much of the analyst community has touted China’s growing domestic demand in recent years, Walker sees the Chinese consumer as unlikely to show much resilience, now that the economy is on a weakening trend and easy credit has run its course.
“The contrarian call we have is to short or underweight consumer plays until we get through this,” said Walker. ................(more)