China’s Economy Slows as Industrial Output Weaker Than Expected

China’s Economy Slows as Industrial Output Weaker Than Expected

Bloomberg  | Sep 16, 2019 05:10

China’s Economy Slows as Industrial Output Weaker Than Expected

(Bloomberg) -- China’s economy slowed further in August, indicating current stimulus policies may not be enough to shield the economy from the worsening effects of the trade war with the U.S.

  • Industrial output rose 4.4% from a year earlier, versus a median estimate of 5.2%. Retail sales expanded 7.5%, compared to a projected 7.9% increase. Fixed-asset investment slowed to 5.5% in the first eight months, versus a forecast 5.7%
Key Insights

  • The industrial output reading was the lowest single-month figure since 2002, with only a combined Jan-Feb result in 2009 lower. China merges some statistics due to the Lunar New Year holiday
  • The data form further evidence that policy makers’ efforts to brake the slowdown in the economy are falling behind, as the nation faces structural downward forces at home and the likelihood of yet-higher tariffs on exports to the U.S.
  • The People’s Bank of China cut the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves this month to the lowest level since 2007, though is still holding off on cutting borrowing costs more broadly
  • Negotiators from China and the U.S. plan to have two rounds of face-to-face negotiations in coming weeks. Both sides have taken steps to show goodwill, and U.S. officials are considering an interim deal to delay tariffs with China, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg
  • “The low retail sales is particularly worrying,” said Raymond Yeung, chief Greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “To stabilize growth, the next few months will see more aggressive policy efforts.”
(Updates with economist quote in Key Insights section.)

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.net;Tomoko Sato in Tokyo at tsato3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, James Mayger

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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