NABE Survey Sees Trouble Looming in China

China economy boom or bust?
China economy boom or bust?

According to a new survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics, a bit beyond half of US business economists believe that China marching towards a serious debt crisis in the next few years.

When asked whether they agreed that “China will face a debt crisis within the next few years,” 52 percent said yes, 25 percent said no, and 23 percent were undecided.

“The biggest concern that has been in discussion is the housing boom and bust in China,” said Jack Kleinhenz, NABE’s president and chief economist at the National Retail Federation. “I think it’s just an overexpansion like we’ve seen in other housing bubbles that have occurred, here in the United States and elsewhere.”

Problems brewing in the Chinese economy include a weakening housing market, expanding debt on the local government level, and a squeezing of supervision of shadow-banking services.

Not all agree with US economists however. Changyong Rhee of the International Monetary Fund said in April that he does not see a full-blown financial crisis for China on the horizon. Kleinhenz added that even if there were a housing bust in China it “shouldn’t have an impact globally” like the housing crisis in the US did. That housing crash helped ignite the 2008 global financial crisis.

The NABE survey was given to 47 member of NABE and was conducted from May 8-21. The economists were also asked about European economics. The vast majority, 84 percent, said that they believe the problems facing Russia and Ukraine “will hinder the economic recovery in Europe.” Whether the crisis will impact the US, however, only 34 percent think it will.

About Alison Meadows

Alison Meadows has a PHD in Economic Trends in Modern Times and is a known writer who focuses on hedge fund investments. Meadows, her husband, and three kids live in Boston, where she grew up and attended college. Contact Alison at alison[at]