China posts weakest growth in 29 years as trade war bites

17 Janvier, 2020, 18:22 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • China Says Economic Growth Fell to Lowest in 30 Years

The world's second-largest economy grew 6.1% in 2019, the slowest in 29 years but still within the government's target of 6-6.5%.

Real estate investment in China rose 9.9 per cent in 2019 from a year earlier, slowing slightly from a 10.2 per cent gain in the first 11 months of the year, official data showed on Friday.

Industrial output rose 6.9 per cent in December from the same period the previous year, versus the median forecast of 5.9 per cent.

The market followed new highs set on Wall Street overnight following the end of the 18-month tariff war between China and the USA that hampered global growth and financial markets.

Eminent economist and former union minister Y K Alagh said China is a middle income country and at its level of per capita income 6 per cent plus is high growth. Yet China's economy remains clouded by so much opacity and state-involvement that it remains hard to know how accurate the economic figures are.

This year is crucial for the ruling Communist Party to fulfill its goal of doubling GDP and incomes in the decade to 2020, and turning China into a "moderately prosperous" nation. That marked the third consecutive year when overall number of births dropped.

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Investment in manufacturing investment declined by a record 3.1 percent past year, the clearest sign of the trade war weighing on the economy.

Friday's data come days after a "Phase 1" trade deal between the US and China, seen as a step toward ending an 18-month-old trade dispute, which has seen damaging tariffs imposed by both sides.

Infrastructure investment grew just 3.8pc in 2019, decelerating from 4pc in January-November, despite sharply higher local government bond issuance and other policy measures. Japan had an even lower rate than China, with 8 per thousand.

However, significant from the Chinese government's perspective, the GDP expanded to $14.38 trillion from last year's $13.1 trillion. The US central bank, for example, has forecast that the American economy will grow by around 2.2 per cent this year.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect further cuts in both RRR and key interest rates this year. Corporate bond defaults hit a new record previous year, while state linked firms had to step in to rescue several troubled smaller banks. According to it, the combination of fiscal stimulus and financial sector reforms, boosting investment and consumption, is expected to support a recovery in the economic growth.

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