Foreign Trade

China’s Economy Weakens on Several Fronts as Trade War Rages

from The Wall Street Journal,

Jobless rate hits a record high. Other indicators, including factory production, consumption and property investment, are much lower than expected.

China reported a raft of weak economic data, adding to evidence that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing further as it remains locked in a trade war with the U.S. The jobless rate in Chinese cities returned in July to its highest level since regular reporting on the data began, as employers turned cautious. Other key economic readings for the month, including factory production, consumption and property investment, came in much lower than expected. While China earlier reported a surprise jump in exports in July, economists say the more-than-yearlong trade conflict with the U.S. has dented market confidence, forcing manufacturers to scale back production and investment, and prompting consumers to tighten purse strings. “The cooling of economic activity last month was even worse than that of 2008 when industrial production was hit by the global financial crisis, while domestic consumption remained strong,” said Zhaopeng Xing, an economist with ANZ. Extra stimulus policies will be necessary to keep growth running at 6% to 6.5% in 2019, a target set by Chinese leaders earlier, said Mr. Xing. Industrial production rose at its slowest pace since the beginning of 2009, increasing 4.8% in July from a year earlier compared with a 6.3% rise in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

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