The Times view on China's slowdown in economic growth: Chinese Medicine

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According to official government data, the economy grew 6.6 percent past year with growth in the fourth quarter falling to an annual rate of 6.4 percent-the lowest level since the early months of the financial crisis a decade ago.

According to data provided today by the National Statistics Bureau, the Chinese economy grew by 6.6% previous year.

After China implemented the comprehensive two-child policy that allows all couples to have two children - abandoning its decades-long one-child policy - in 2016, the country's health authority predicted that the fertility rate in 2017 and 2018 would be 1.97 and 2.09.

New births in China fell to 15.23 million a year ago, the lowest since China relaxed its one-child policy in 2014, Trend reports referring to South China Morning Post.

Fourth quarter GDP growth slowed as expected, said Lu Ting, China economist at Nomura, in a note. A clear majority said the chances of Japan going into recession this year had risen. Jobs, exports, commodity producing nations - we all depend on China to buy stuff from us.

"The US-China trade conflict discourages China's capital spending, which is casting a shadow over Japan's economy via a slowdown in exports of capital goods", Shigeto Nagai, head of Japan economics at Oxford Economics, told Reuters.

"The financial pressure of life in the city makes the idea of having a child nearly impossible", Cai said.

But there were some signs of resilience in the world's second biggest economy.

China has reported its lowest economic growth in 28 years.

Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent seen in the third quarter, NBS data showed. While credit has been eased, the move has failed to lift fixed asset investment which grew by 5.9 percent previous year, a significant drop from the 7.2 percent growth recorded in 2017.

But analysts say mere optimism over trade talks can not take it any higher, unless it's driven by a dramatic decline in the dollar.

Escalating the trade war is on hold for now after President Xi Jinping and Trump agreed to a three-month ceasefire, with top negotiators set to meet in Washington at the end of this month as a March deadline for a deal looms large.

A surprising rally for China's yuan over the turn of the year has been cut short by widespread expectations that Beijing will ramp up policy easing in coming months to avert a sharper economic slowdown. The Shenzhen A-shares index added 0.6 percent to 1,390.84.

"The government is expected to implement more fiscal and monetary stimulus measures to support economic growth", Yanjun Lin of IHS Markit said in a report.

Hofer said China's central bank should prioritize restoring investor confidence in its capital markets, in particular its equity markets which plunged past year.

But these measures have so far failed to reverse the slowdown which saw activity levels in manufacturing fall close to or just under contraction levels in December. The central bank has been injecting more, and cheaper funds into the banking system to encourage lending; the central government has removed tightfisted controls on local borrowing; Beijing is planning more cut taxes for both businesses and individuals, particularly those involved in the technology sector.

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