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Longtime China bull Stephen Roach says there’s ‘no way’ Beijing will meet its 5.5% growth target

China is facing “enormous risk” and at the moment and is unlikely to meet its economic growth target for the year, according to economist Stephen Roach, who has been a longtime bull on the Asian giant.

“I’m a congenital bull on China, that’s not the case for me now though,” Roach told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday.

Beijing has officially set a growth target of around 5.5% for the Chinese economy this year, but Roach said “it will be lucky if it makes 4.”

“I think China’s facing formidable pressures,” said Roach, a former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman who is currently a senior fellow at Yale University. “There’s no way it’s going to make its 5.5% forecast.”

China … is not going to bail the world out the way it did after the global financial crisis

Stephen Roach

senior fellow, Yale University

Employees working on the production line of carbon fiber badminton rackets at a factory in Sihong County, in China’s Jiangsu province. China reported Saturday that factory activity in April contracted at a steeper pace as Covid-19 lockdowns halted industrial production and disrupted supply chains.

Visual China Group | Getty Images

The expected slowdown in the Chinese economy is set to have ramifications worldwide, Roach warned, with Beijing now unable to bail out the world the same way it did after the global financial crisis.

“From 2009 to 2012 … China was growing, you know, 8% and that cushion kept the world from lapsing back into a recession,” he said. “That cushion is gone.”

“China … is not going to bail the world out the way it did after the global financial crisis,” Roach said. “This is problematic for the global economic outlook as well.”

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