BEIJING: Coronavirus lockdowns have hit Chinese growth more than expected, ratings agency S&P said as it slashed its forecast for the second time in two months, while emerging market economies will slow in the second half of this year amid high inflation.
S&P cut its gross domestic product growth prediction for China to 3.3 percent, in a report, having already downgraded it to 4.2 percent in May from a 4.9 percent forecast made in March.
It said higher than expected first quarter growth in many countries meant its 2022 growth forecast for emerging market economies excluding China was unchanged at 4.1 percent, but sounded a pessimistic note about the rest of the year and 2023.
S&P also increased inflation forecasts for a sample of 15 emerging markets, to 7.1 percent in 2022 and 4.1 percent in 2023, from 5.9 percent and 3.5 percent in March and said it expected inflation to breach most central banks’ targets until at least 2024 even as they tighten monetary policy faster.
China’s smartphones gain ground in Russia
Chinese smartphones accounted for two-thirds of all new sales in Russia between April and June, the country’s top electronics retailer said on Wednesday.
“The total share of Chinese brands in the Russian market in terms of smartphone sales is steadily increasing — from 50 percent in the first quarter, to 60 percent in April to more than 70 percent in June,” Russian electronics retailer M.Video-Eldorado said on Wednesday.
Overall, Chinese smartphones accounted for more than 65 percent of devices sold across the second quarter, up from 50 percent in the same period of 2021. Mobile operator MTS reported a jump in sales of Chinese phones in May.
M.Video said the average price of a smartphone sold during the three-month period was down 4 percent from last year as Russian consumers shift to lower-ticket goods amid an earnings squeeze and economic downturn.
Several major smartphone makers, including Apple and Samsung, have paused new sales in Russia following its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, while financial sanctions and airspace bans have hit supply chains, pushing Russian retailers and consumers to look toward China to fill the gap.
(With input from Reuters)