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China’s Improving Economic Data Masks Deeper Problems

China’s factories are beginning to hum again. Its consumers are opening their wallets. Its trade tensions with the United States are easing.To get more trump economy news, you can visit shine news official website.

On paper, the world’s second-largest economy looks as if it may be shrugging off its worst slowdown in nearly three decades. China reported economic growth figures on Friday that suggest its economy is stabilizing after a year of consecutive quarterly declines. Wall Street has already been celebrating.

Dig a little deeper, however, and difficult problems quickly become apparent. China’s economy, a major engine of global growth, still faces some of its biggest challenges since it began opening up to the outside world four decades ago.

Some of China’s economic figures look better in part because they were notably weak a year earlier. The initial trade deal signed on Wednesday in Washington still leaves untouched American tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese-made goods. Perhaps most important, the Chinese economy is still struggling to kick an addiction to borrowing that has loaded the country with trillions of dollars in debt.
“Right now, we are looking at the glass half full. The markets are extremely optimistic, and they are inclined to see the positive side,” said Hao Zhou, a senior economist at Commerzbank.

China on Friday reported annual growth of 6.1 percent, the slowest pace in 29 years. Economists, however, are likely to pay closer attention to figures that indicate that the economy stabilized in the final three months of last year. The figures show that the Chinese economy grew 6 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier, matching the pace of the July-to-September period.
In the wake of the partial trade truce, Friday’s economic figures paint a more positive picture for China’s leaders. Strong economic performance helps the Communist Party keep an iron grip on China’s political system. Big growth numbers have become more difficult to reach as the economy matures — the once-poor country is now the world’s largest manufacturer and accounts for more than $14 trillion in annual output.

But the lift from the trade pact is likely to be small. The deal preserves the bulk of President Trump’s tariffs on $360 billion a year in China-made goods, which will keep pressure on Chinese factories over the long term. In the short term, the trade war’s impact on the Chinese economy has been smaller than expected by many, chipping about half of a percentage point off China’s 2019 gross domestic product, S&P Global, the research firm, estimated.
“The trade deal takes the tail risk off the table,” said Shaun Roache, chief economist at S&P Global.

“This is not going to be enough to change the underlying dynamic in China,” he said.

The economy’s biggest pressure point may be self-imposed by Beijing. Years of driving growth by lending and spending has loaded Chinese companies and local governments with huge amounts of debt. China has taken steps to curb excess lending and let careless borrowers fail, hurting growth in the short term.
China’s leaders appear to be open to taking that risk. The state news media has signaled a willingness for growth this year to fall below 6 percent for the first time since 1990. Economists have been ratcheting down their own growth estimates. Mr. Zhou, of Commerzbank, estimates growth will fall to 5.8 percent this year. S&P estimates growth will fall to 5.7 percent.

The lowered expectations reflect other pressing headwinds. One of the biggest is the deteriorating health of China’s corporate sector. Businesses across the country, from toymakers to start-ups to carmakers, are strapped for cash and struggling to pay their bills.In the last three months of 2019, the number of late payments by companies to their clients, employees and creditors reached a record high, according to China Beige Book, the economic consulting firm.

Some sectors were hit particularly hard. In China’s auto industry, the world’s largest, sales dropped more than 8 percent last year compared with 2018, according to a state-owned industry association. The property industry, a key economic driver in a country where households park a great deal of their wealth in housing, is also showing signs of struggle.
Short on cash in 2019, more and more Chinese companies issued i.o.u.s known as commercial acceptance bills instead of paying their bills in cash. By midyear, there were some $200 billion of these i.o.u.s circulating.

A brisk trade in the i.o.u.s has developed. Some companies paid in commercial acceptance bills sell them at a discount when they experience their own financial problems, spreading the potential risk to other parts of the economy if the issuer ultimately cannot pay up.

Other signs indicate that Chinese companies are having problems paying their bills. A record number of Chinese firms defaulted on bonds to local and foreign investors in 2019, including some high-profile companies like a giant state-run commodities firm and a conglomerate backed by the country’s most prestigious university.

Over the next two years, these companies will owe hundreds of billions of dollars to lenders and investors around the world. If they cannot pay, Chinese companies may find it getting more expensive to borrow money in the future.

China’s new restraint on lending has kept it from injecting vast amounts of money into the financial system and launching hugely expensive infrastructure projects to keep the economic gears spinning. At the same time, it is still freeing up money for companies to borrow, through steps like lowering the amount of cash from deposits that it requires China’s banks to keep in reserve for unexpected emergencies.

Those steps have not helped the economy much, which is a troubling trend, said Leland Miller, the chief executive of China Beige Book. A lot of money did make it to the 3,300 companies that his firm surveys, but their performance did not improve much.

“The fact that you aren’t seeing an ‘oomph’ is concerning,” Mr. Miller said. What’s more, he added, many of these firms are still swimming in debt.
Despite the economic red flags, some China watchers have pointed to the most recent retail and industrial output figures as potential silver linings. Value-added industrial output in November grew 6.2 percent from the previous year, according to government statistics, suggesting that factory production kicked back up at the end of the year.

This was part of a regional trend as exporters across Asia cut back production earlier in the year amid slowing global trade and worries that unsold products would sit in the warehouse. Many ran out of inventory toward the end of the year and had to ramp up production to meet new orders. In South Korea, electronics firms were particularly affected, and the data reflects a similar jump there.

Some economists said that buoyant retail numbers were boosted by a stronger-than-usual Singles Day, China’s biggest shopping day of the year, which takes place on Nov. 11. December’s retail sales were similarly strong, but many economists still were not convinced that the momentum will continue without government help.


Film Review: ‘Ip Man 4: The Finale’

Ip Man 4: The Finale” marks director Wilson Yip’s (“Dragon Tiger Gate,” “Flash Point”) fourth film about the famous kung fu guru, the titular Ip Man (Donnie Yen). This final flick in the series is an interesting beast, offering a little less action than is usual for these films. Instead, a socio-cultural perspective of race relations between whites and Chinese immigrants is ramped up and plopped front and center.To get more news about ip man 4 release date usa, you can visit shine news official website.

Ip Man’s wife, Cheung Wing-sing (Lynn Xiong), died during 2015’s “Ip Man 3” (which showcased a pretty epic pugilistic showdown between Mike Tyson and Donnie Yen). Her death results in the kung fu master traveling to San Francisco so that he can eventually move his son over later. Like many immigrants, he believes that his son will have a better life in the States than back home in Hong Kong.

The film is mostly about Ip Man’s students. Bruce Lee (Kwok-Kwan Chan), Ip Man’s most famous student, has a presence in the film, albeit a pretty peripheral one, only being showcased during an early alleyway matchup against a cartoonishly diabolical karate champion (Mark Strange). Lee has angered the already established Chinese kung fu grandmasters by teaching the martial art to non-Chinese.
But the prominent narrative arc here follows another of Ip Man’s students: a young, Chinese U.S. Marine oddly named “Hartman” (Vanness Wu). Staff Sergeant Hartman is trying to introduce kung fu into the official Marine Corps hand-to-hand combat training program.

Hartman’s direct superior, Gunnery Sergeant Barton Geddes (Scott Adkins), is a vehement racist and also convinced that Japanese karate is vastly superior to Chinese kung fu. When Hartman arrogantly tows a wooden practice dummy into one of the Marines’ training sessions, Geddes has his primary karate instructor, Colin Frater (Chris Collins), face off against the young man. Hartman puts up a decent fight, but since he’s only a newbie kung fu practitioner, he ends up getting smashed by Frater.

Shortly after the training brawl, Hartman goes directly to their commanding officer with his kung fu program. Hartman manages to convince the officer (apparently the only nonracist white person in the film) to give his kung fu program a shot, thereby bucking several levels of the chain of command.

This, in turn, enrages Geddes to the point to where, during the film’s dramatic third act, he pretty much kicks everyone’s butt who merely looks at him the wrong way.

You can see the writing on the wall: Ip Man must defend his student. Near the end of the film, Ip Man states that he utilizes kung fu to fight injustice, and since Hartman and other Chinese folks have been abused by Geddes, we are treated to an all-out, balls-to-the-walls showdown between Ip Man and … you know, the evil, racist guy Geddes.

But get this: Ip is shown smoking cigarettes and coughing a lot (he was a heavy smoker in real life), and he discovers that he has throat cancer. Despite his illness and an injury to his left arm, the kung fu hero manages to rise to the occasion, besting a bevy of xenophobic bad boys in hyperkinetic, yet relatively brief, action scenes. The fights themselves are well-constructed and expertly executed.

For the most part, the action also looks natural, with less reliance on the typical Wire-fu antics, where wires and other stage techniques create the fight effects. Wire-fu is showcased in some of the more over-the-top Chinese martial arts films.


Ip Man 4 review – kung fu master gives America a kicking

onnie Yen returns for his last coolly impassive outing as the real-life Chinese martial artist and wing chun master Ip Man, who trained generations of kung fu students, Bruce Lee being the most famous.To get more news about ip man 4 cast, you can visit shine news official website.

In this final, faintly solemn episode, Ip is a widower, growing old, and has been given a diagnosis of cancer. We see him leave Hong Kong and make a journey to the United States in the 1960s (where his great student Lee is already making a name for himself) on a mission to find a private school for his tearaway young son. (In fact, the real Ip made no such journey.)

Ip finds a great deal of anti-Chinese racism from white Americans, and from his fellow Chinese he finds hostility and resentment towards Lee for teaching wing chun to foreigners.On a nearby marine corps camp, the military have a profound suspicion of kung fu, preferring the all-American practice of karate – the film leaves it to us to notice the irony of espousing something Japanese, although it’s weirdly not clear if we’re supposed to notice it.

Finally, Ip Man, although ailing and no longer young, is asked to face off with an overbearing racist bully: gunner sergeant Geddes, played by the British martial arts star Scott Adkins. Quite a contest.

Given that a fair amount of creative licence has been exercised here, it is strange that Bruce Lee has such a small part to play: a cameo at the karate contest at the beginning, a chat with Ip, but then he recedes into the shadows. Perhaps the movie can’t handle more than one martial arts legend at a time. It would be like bringing Miss Marple into a Hercule Poirot story.

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‘Ip Man 4: The Finale’ Review: Head Punches and Heart

The modesty that defines good martial arts in the “Ip Man” franchise is also a principal virtue of the films. “Ip Man 4: The Finale,” the concluding chapter of a saga inspired by the life of the famed teacher of the Wing Chun fighting style, closes out the series with body flips, head punches, smashed furniture and heart.To get more news about ip man 4, you can visit shine news official website.

It is now 1964, and a secretly ailing Ip Man (Donnie Yen) travels to San Francisco to visit his pupil Bruce Lee (Chan Kwok-Kwan Danny) — who sees more fighting than in “Ip Man 3” — and to enroll his son in school. But to do that, Ip Man needs a letter of recommendation from the Chinese Benevolent Association, whose chairman (Wu Yue) wants Lee to stop teaching kung fu to non-Chinese students. In a city overrun with racism, the chairman fears the democratization of a defensive technique.

Lessons about intolerance — in a subplot, immigration officials abuse their power and plan a vendetta-driven raid in Chinatown — are interwoven with the hand-to-hand skirmishes. The director, Wilson Yip, follows the same pattern as in the other films: two people agree to a fighting challenge; the good guy loses; Ip Man steps in to avenge the loser’s honor and defend Wing Chun against a rival martial art.
The primary competitor here is karate, which a racist Marine officer (Scott Adkins) insists is superior for military training. There is no mystery about who wins the movie’s final bout, but it is never less than thrilling to watch Yen’s fluttering limbs in action.


‘Ip Man 4: The Finale’ Review: Head Punches and Heart

The modesty that defines good martial arts in the “Ip Man” franchise is also a principal virtue of the films. “Ip Man 4: The Finale,” the concluding chapter of a saga inspired by the life of the famed teacher of the Wing Chun fighting style, closes out the series with body flips, head punches, smashed furniture and heart.To get more news about ip man 4, you can visit shine news official website.

It is now 1964, and a secretly ailing Ip Man (Donnie Yen) travels to San Francisco to visit his pupil Bruce Lee (Chan Kwok-Kwan Danny) — who sees more fighting than in “Ip Man 3” — and to enroll his son in school. But to do that, Ip Man needs a letter of recommendation from the Chinese Benevolent Association, whose chairman (Wu Yue) wants Lee to stop teaching kung fu to non-Chinese students. In a city overrun with racism, the chairman fears the democratization of a defensive technique.

Lessons about intolerance — in a subplot, immigration officials abuse their power and plan a vendetta-driven raid in Chinatown — are interwoven with the hand-to-hand skirmishes. The director, Wilson Yip, follows the same pattern as in the other films: two people agree to a fighting challenge; the good guy loses; Ip Man steps in to avenge the loser’s honor and defend Wing Chun against a rival martial art.
The primary competitor here is karate, which a racist Marine officer (Scott Adkins) insists is superior for military training. There is no mystery about who wins the movie’s final bout, but it is never less than thrilling to watch Yen’s fluttering limbs in action.


US deal with China is a victory for Trump

For decades, multiple presidential administrations did little while China flouted the rules and gained an unfair advantage in the international trade market. That changed when President Trump took office, and his consistently tough stance led to a "phase one" trade deal between the United States and China last week. And while it doesn't solve all of the trade issues between the United States and China, it's a good start.To get more china and trump trade deal news, you can visit shine news official website.

In addition to easing tensions between the two nations, the deal requires structural reforms to China's economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services and currency and foreign exchange, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. It also includes a commitment by China to purchase $200 billion more in US goods and services over the next two years.
In the short term, the deal is a ceasefire. It releases some of the pressure on the US economy and will help farmers. The deal calls for China to purchase $32 billion in US agricultural products over the next two years.
It's true that the trade war has claimed casualties. America's farmers have been suffering. China responded to Trump's tariffs by placing crippling tariffs of its own on American agricultural products. US production costs have also risen as the two economic superpowers take turns throwing haymakers.
Still, Trump has been right all along and China's willingness to come to the negotiating table is proof. Trump's tariffs have hit China where it hurts.
China's growth has slowed significantly, especially in the area of industrial production.
The trade war has reduced the US trade deficit with China, as the Wall Street Journal reported, though China still exports far more manufactured goods to the United States than the other way around.
Looking forward, any long-term trade agreement with China will be a multi-step process. US tariffs will remain in place on $370 billion in Chinese goods. The president will use this as leverage in a future agreement. The new deal eases tensions — it doesn't eliminate them.
The next phase of any agreement needs to make technology a priority. China allegedly strong-arms US companies into handing over their technology to Chinese companies in exchange for access to China's vast market.
Innovation costs money. When US companies are forced to give up their technology, they often can't recover their initial investment. It's difficult to quantify the damage but some estimates show losses for US businesses in the hundreds of billions.
The new deal contains language which essentially says that any transfer of technology between the US and China should be voluntary. However, that particular section in the agreement lacks teeth.
It doesn't require China to change any existing law or regulation. Changes in Chinese law must be part of "Phase Two" to ensure that China is complying.
Forced technology transfer reduces the incentive for innovation and China has been getting away with it for far too long. We shouldn't be willing to simply accept China's word that it's going to stop.


What next for oil as US-Iran tensions simmer?

If Iranian missile strikes on US forces in Iraq cannot make the oil price rally, then what can?

That is the question bullish oil traders have been asking this past week, after the fallout from the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani saw prices jump briefly, before posting a dramatic retreat as the US and Iran moved to de-escalate. On Wednesday crude posted a peak-to-trough swing of almost 9 per cent, whipsawing those who thought oil prices were finally going to break comfortably above $70 a barrel.

With Brent crude back near $65, it might be tempting to conclude that the market has peaked. Some traders may want to start betting against oil prices, as long as both the US and Iran continue to avoid a direct confrontation, and supplies remain undisturbed.
To get more latest news on iran us tension, you can visit shine news official website.
Simmering tensions in the Middle East are likely to remain supportive for prices in the coming weeks. It is far from certain that Iran’s retaliation for Soleimani’s death has concluded.

At the same time, the expansion of the US shale industry appears to finally be slowing. Traders are starting to shift from worrying about oversupply in the first half of this year to examining demand forecasts that broadly look more balanced with supplies from the summer onwards.

Oil prices might not have much further to rise, at least without another clear threat to supplies. But this does not look like a market at imminent risk of collapse. David Sheppard

Will the ‘phase one’ trade agreement fulfil its promise?

Investors will be on high alert this week for last-minute delays to the promised “phase one” trade agreement between the US and China. President Donald Trump says the agreement will be signed at the White House on Wednesday, but even this intermediate step could falter.

The Trump administration claims the deal is “in the bag”, yet details of the agreement have not been made public and are still being reviewed by both sides. It is unclear whether the final terms will go substantially beyond the truce reached in December. They may even fail to meet market expectations, whether in terms of the scale of concessions or by providing no feasible pathway towards a broader, more comprehensive settlement.

Officials from Beijing will probably head to Washington with a tailwind because economists expect China’s exports to snap a four-month streak of contraction. Data due to be released on Tuesday is expected to show a year-on-year rise of 2.5 per cent for December — the fastest pace of growth since July.

Yet tensions between the US and Iran will keep market participants on their toes. China, which last month held joint naval exercises with Iran and Russia, is now the biggest buyer of Iranian oil and has urged the US not to further escalate tensions in the Middle East.

But while Mr Trump has downplayed any further threats from Iran, Soleimani’s replacement has promised to take revenge by “uprooting the US from the region”.

With the trade deal’s signatories now on opposite sides of yet another geopolitical stand-off, Wednesday’s signing looks more challenging than ever.


U.S.-Iran Tensions Temporarily Restrain Israel on Northern Front


It took the American media more than a week, but on Sunday morning the expected, almost traditional report came across describing Israel’s role in the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. According to NBC, Israeli intelligence provided supplemental information about the schedule of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force commander, whose plane took off from Damascus and landed at Baghdad International Airport slightly after midnight on January 3.To get more us and iran tension latest news, you can visit shine news official website.
A detailed report in the New York Times gave a precise description of the sequence of events during the week of the killing and said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the only foreign leader informed by Washington of the intent to kill Soleimani. The report is consistent with assessments by Israeli media immediately after the killing. In retrospect, remarks Netanyahu made the day before the killing, as he left for a visit to Greece, about Israel’s vigilant monitoring of events while “in close contact with our great friend, the United States,” might indicate that he knew something.
On Sunday, at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu once again addressed the situation in Iran, condemning the Tehran regime for mistakenly shooting down a Ukrainian commercial airliner, praising the courage of those demonstrating against the regime and congratulating U.S. President Donald Trump on his decision to impose additional sanctions on Iran. But the vow of silence the premier has imposed on his ministers is still in effect, and they’re keeping mum about events in the Gulf region.

It looks as if Israeli caution includes, at this stage, restraint with regard to offensive action on the northern front. The report from last week that attributed to Israel an attack on a truck carrying weapons near the Bukamal crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border doesn’t seem reliable. If it is true that Israeli offensive actions have been halted, one must assume that this is temporary, until what’s going on between the United States and Iran is clarified.
Meanwhile, it seems that the upheaval the killing has caused is having unintended consequences. The Iranians sought to depict the missile fire at American bases in Iraq last week as the end of their public revenge. But anxiety among those operating their air defenses led to the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane by a surface-to-air missile and to the deaths of 176 passengers and crew who were not in any way connected to the conflict with the United States. The regime was seriously em


What China problem?

President Donald Trump may be escalating his trade war with China, but the U.S. futures industry is lauding progress between the two nations, and companies are pushing ahead with their own efforts to work with the Chinese.To get more latest banking and finance news, you can visit shine news official website.

CME, the largest futures exchange operator in the world, announced this month it will partner with the Shanghai Gold Exchange in October to list new gold contracts based on that foreign exchange's benchmark price, pending regulatory approvals. Likewise, the Shanghai Exchange will launch new contracts linked to CME's Comex gold futures prices.

Such advances in cross-pollination of the financial markets fly in the face of Trump's recriminations about China's lack of openness. U.S. traders may relish the volatility created by the president's trade war in the short term because of opportunities for gains on market swings, but leaders of the industry are showing that longer-term U.S. trading interests favor calling out the positive gains made in recent years between the two trading giants.

The Futures Industry Association, the Washington trade group that represents U.S. futures interests and advocates for them in Washington as well as abroad, recently offered support for changes made by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the agency that oversees the country's securities and futures markets, and for efforts advancing foreign participation under President Xi Jinping's leadership.

"The CSRC has been pretty open in trying to make sure more foreign participation comes into the Chinese markets," says Walt Lukken, president of the Futures Industry Association. While he says the Chinese are often slow and methodical with changes, the fruits of shifts in recent years are showing up now. He raised the issue in a Chicago presentation last month and reiterated it in remarks afterward.

Lukken cited the decision by the Shanghai exchange last year to list its first crude oil futures contract and to invite international participation in trading of the contract. He says he's unaware of any grousing about competition the new contract may mean for CME's WTI crude benchmark contract or Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange's Brent crude benchmark contract. The idea is for China to create its own futures industry benchmarks, he says.

"They're hoping that our expertise, and our liquidity that we can provide their markets, will help to develop those benchmarks," Lukken says. "It has to flow both ways. They're giving us access into China, but we're giving them access into the United States."

Lukken also notes China's plan next year to eliminate a cap on foreign ownership of Chinese brokerages that support the futures industry, among others. While China's easing of such restrictions has been underway since 2017, its reforms were sped up this year.

While some may attribute the acceleration to Trump's tough rhetoric, the futures industry was making progress before that and in spite of some moves by the U.S. that might have made such steps forward difficult. For instance, the U.S. government last year blocked a sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to a Chinese investment group suspected of having ties to the Chinese government.

As U.S. market participants have made gradual inroads in China, especially in the metals, energy and currency markets, Chinese counterparts have steadily increased their presence on U.S. exchanges, contributing to a doubling of trading volume from Asia at CME since 2012. U.S. traders, especially Chicago's pit veterans like CME CEO Terry Duffy, aren't known for being soft when it comes to pursuing their interests.


Auto Loan Delinquencies Hit Record High

If you live in America and you are in debt, you are definitely not alone.To get more china auto news, you can visit shine news official website.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York just put out its latest quarterly report on U.S. household debt and found that Americans collectively owe about $13.54 trillion, an amount that has risen for 18 consecutive quarters and is 21% higher than the $12.7 trillion owed in 2008 during the height of the Great Recession.

Among the more troubling facts from the report is the record 7 million Americans who are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments. It's a signal, economists say, that Americans are struggling to pay bills despite other indications of a strong economy and low unemployment. Approximately 6.5% of all auto finance loans are 90-plus days past due.

Student loan debt edged higher, hitting $1.46 trillion in the fourth quarter, and serious delinquency rates in the category continue to be much higher than any other debt type.

Mortgage debt accounted for most of the total, hitting $9.12 trillion in the fourth quarter.
What does this mean for the overall economy?
Despite the concerns in the auto-loan segment, Americans were generally less eager to boost their debt in late 2018. Credit inquiries hit a new low in the history of the Fed survey, driven largely by a decline in refinancing requests. This is good news generally, but it could also signal potential trouble for consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.
The Fed report made sure to note that the overall level of auto loan credit quality actually improved, with less-worthy borrowing declining to 22% of the total share while 30% is now held by those on the higher end of the scale. But the rise in delinquencies is cause for concern.

"The substantial and growing number of distressed borrowers suggests that not all Americans have benefited from the strong labor market," noted economists in a blog the New York Fed produces. The report said there were more than a million "troubled borrowers" at the end of 2018 -- when unemployment was 4% -- compared to 2010 (10% unemployment).

A rise in auto-loan defaults is unlikely to cripple the entire financial system as mortgages did in the run-up to the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The total auto-loan market is just over $1 trillion, compared to $12 trillion for housing.

"Auto loan originations for 2018 reached an all-time high in our dataset and the growth has been driven by creditworthy individuals," said Joelle Scally, Administrator of the Center for Microeconomic Data at the New York Fed. "Despite auto debt's increasing quality, its performance has been slowly worsening. Growing delinquencies among subprime borrowers are responsible for this deteriorating performance, and younger borrowers are struggling most acutely to afford their auto loans."