China’s economy falters with record-low investment growth
BEIJING : China's economy betrayed further signs of strain yesterday with data showing a sharp slowdown in consumer spending and factory production while investment growth hit a record low as the US trade war takes its toll.
The readings are the latest to give a headache to leaders in Beijing, who are battling the tariff row with the US as well as a weak global outlook, while trying to control a debt mountain at home.
Officials said retail sales, a key gauge of spending by the country's vast army of consumers, grew 7.2 per cent on-year last month, down 0.6 percentage points from September and short of expectations.
The figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also showed growth in industrial production came in at 4.7 per cent, from 5.8 per cent a month earlier.
And fixed-asset investment expanded 5.2 per cent in the first 10 months, the lowest ever recorded with comparable data going back to 1998. Forecasts had been for 5.4 per cent.
Ms Liu Aihua at the NBS warned that China was facing a "complex international economic situation" with downward pressure on the domestic economy.
Analysts warned of more headwinds for the world's number two economy, which expanded 6 per cent in the third quarter, its worst reading in almost three decades.
"Not only were last month's data weak but further weakness lurks ahead," warned Mr Martin Lynge Rasmussen of Capital Economics, saying he expects more monetary easing.
The authorities have unveiled a series of measures to kick-start growth, including tax and rate cuts as well as scrapping foreign investment restrictions in its stock market. - AFP