Economic Affairs: China's debt bomb is ticking faster

Rising debt and slowing growth can be a deadly combination

"Over 100 per cent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline occurred in Greater China," said Apple's chief executive officer Tim Cook last week, explaining why Apple was forced to cut its guidance on fourth-quarter sales by US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion), which sent the company's stock tumbling 7 per cent and the US stock market into a swoon. "We did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deterioration."

Apple's shock announcement has refocused attention on China's economic slowdown. How it plays out could be one of the big economic stories to watch in 2019.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2019, with the headline 'China's debt bomb is ticking faster'. Print Edition | Subscribe