Growth in China shows signs of slow­ing down

The Nation - - BUSINESS -

CHI­NESE eco­nomic growth showed signs of flag­ging in data re­leased yes­ter­day as Beijing faces trade ten­sions with the United States as well as debt and pol­lu­tion bat­tles at home.

In­dus­trial out­put and re­tail sales in the world’s num­ber two econ­omy slowed last month, while the cen­tral bank shied away from rais­ing bor­row­ing costs de­spite an­other hike by the US Fed­eral Re­serve.

“Ex­ter­nal in­sta­bil­i­ties and uncertainties are in­creas­ing,” said Na­tional Bureau of Statis­tics spokesman Mao Shengy­ong.

His com­ments come as weeks of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Beijing and Wash­ing­ton show no signs of a break­through, with US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump set to de­cide on whether to im­pose tar­iffs in bil­lions of dol­lars worth of Chi­nese im­ports.

China has pledged any tar­iffs will void progress made in the re­cent talks and has drawn up its own list of US tar­gets. “The trade fric­tion does not solve any prob­lem, it only makes the prob­lem more com­pli­cated,” the NBS’s Mao said.

On Thursday the NBS said out­put at fac­to­ries and work­shops ex­panded 6.8 per cent year-on-year, from 7.0 per cent in April and short of es­ti­mates in a Bloomberg News sur­vey.

The re­tail sec­tor also slumped, pro­vid­ing some con­cern for lead­ers who are look­ing for con­sumers to drive eco­nomic growth and move away from the ex­port and state in­vest­ment-driven model.

Sales growth slowed to 8.5 per cent from 9.4 per cent in April. It was also well short of the 9.6 per cent fore­cast by an­a­lysts and main­tained a down­trend seen over the past 12 months.

An em­ployee works at a tex­tile fac­tory in Lianyun­gang in China’s east­ern Jiangsu prov­ince as key Chi­nese eco­nomic read­ings show signs that growth could be slow­ing.

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