Growth in China shows signs of slowing down
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.