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Chinese economy struggles under debt burden

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Ratings agency Fitch has reportedly calculated China’s overall sovereign debt as 74 per cent of GDP, piling more pressure on the country’s economy

Ratings agency Fitch has reportedly calculated China’s overall sovereign debt as 74 per cent of GDP, piling more pressure on the country’s economy.

Fitch Ratings said China had central government debt equivalent to 49 per cent of GDP, and local government debt equal to a further 25 per cent of national output, according to Reuters.

This suggests local debt has soared after the country moved to reverse a slowing in its rate of growth.

China saw its year-on-year GDP growth fall to a three-year low of 7.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2012. This was up slightly at the end of last year but back down to 7.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2013.

Many UK practices have found a lifeline in China during the catastrophic slowdown in the European construction market, which hit a 16-year low in February.

Last summer, leading architects told AJ they were expecting a second design boom for UK firms.

Indeed, a recent report from property firm CBRE found that seven of the eight most active cities for shopping centre development were in China.

But a Broadway Malyan survey of 24 China-based retail sector developers found that 83 per cent were ‘kept awake at night’ by the growing threat of online sales.

Three-quarters of those questioned said they worried about the lack of information allowing them to plan developments outside tier one cities.

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