The 2013 All-China Research Team: Economics, First: Ting Lu

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Ting Lu
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch

First-place appearances: 1

Total appearances: 3

Analyst debut: 2011

Ting Lu debuted in third place in 2011, advanced to No. 2 in 2012 and this year completes his direct climb to the top of the list. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist possesses a “good grasp of the current macroeconomic situation,” asserts one supporter, “with some deep and insightful analyses.” The Chinese economy is on “a structural downward trend,” Lu says, citing as evidence increasing concerns over a loss of momentum in the fourth quarter. Sequential real gross domestic product growth in the third quarter was the result of special factors, he notes, consumer price index inflation has raced to more than 3 percent since September, and the government is pursuing fewer growth-supportive policies. The 38-year-old is forecasting real GDP growth of 7.7 percent for this year and 7.6 percent for 2014. In this environment China’s central bank will, he believes, “slightly shift its policy from monetary expansion in the third quarter to a neutral stance featuring no further easing and no tightening.” Overall, Lu maintains “a certain level of confidence,” he says, in the nation’s financial and economic stability, adding that China-related financial assets have been overly sold off for a few months in each of the past several years. “In hindsight we view those as missed opportunities to buy on dips,” he explains. “We expect this phenomenon to happen again in 2014 and see it as a potential opportunity.” Lu joined the firm in 2006 after earning a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Beijing’s Peking University. “Lu does serious and thorough research and does not just follow the crowd,” another loyalist attests. — Carolyn Koo

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