China’s industrial growth slowed to new 17-year low in August, even before new US trade war tariffs took effect

  • Industrial production, which measures industrial output grew at 4.4 per cent last month, down from 4.8 per cent in July and the lowest growth since February 2002
  • Retail sales, a key metric of consumption in the world’s most populous nation, grew by 7.5 per cent, below analysts’ forecasts

China’s industrial engine continued to stutter in August, with a key gauge of the country’s manufacturing growth slumping to a new 17-year low, in the last month before the United States imposed new tariffs on Chinese-made goods.

Industrial production, which measures China’s industrial output, including manufacturing, mining and utilities, grew at 4.4 per cent last month, down from 4.8 per cent in July, which in itself was the lowest rate since February 2002. This was well below a poll of analysts taken by Bloomberg that had expected growth of 5.2 per cent.

A batch of data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday also showed that retail sales, a key metric of consumption in the world’s most populous nation, grew by 7.5 per cent, also below analysts’ forecasts of 7.9 per cent expansion. This was a slight decline on July’s 7.6 per cent growth and the lowest figure since April.

Fixed asset investment, the level of spend on physical assets, including real estate and infrastructure, grew by 5.5 per cent in the first eight months of 2019. This was down from 5.7 per cent in July, and – again – below analysts’ expectations. The Bloomberg poll had forecast no change. This was the lowest growth in fixed asset investment since August 2018, when it was 5.3 per cent.

www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3027374/chinas-industrial-engine-slowed-new-17-year-low-august-even

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