The world’s second largest economy China caught in a fractious trade and technology war with the US, China’s industrial production in July recorded its lowest growth rate in 17 years, with the retail sector also taking a big hit.
China’s economy decelerated to its slowest pace in decades as the trade and technology standoff with the US has impacted the Asian economic powerhouse.
Data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics made available showed that industrial output – an indicative measure of manufacturing production – rose by 4.8 per cent during the month, the lowest rise since February 2002. It was also lower than the 6.3 per cent rate of growth recorded in June.
In another worrying signal for the Chinese economy, retail sales, a key metric of consumption, grew by 7.6 per cent in July, down from 9.8 per cent growth in June, and well short of an expected 8.6 per cent growth.
Consumption has emerged as a big concern for policymakers in Beijing. In 2019, China’s imports have continually declined indicating that demand is weak in China, among both individual consumers as well as producers importing parts and components.
Data released earlier in July by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that China recorded 6.2 per cent year on year growth in the second quarter, its slowest growth since the early 1990s. The second quarter growth is lower than 6.4 per cent in the first quarter.