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China industrial growth lowest in 17 years

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Christian Fernsby |
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Asia   Industrial production grew 5.0 per cent

China’s industrial economy continued to sag in May, data released showed, as the trade war with the United States continued to hang heavy on the world’s second largest economy.

A new batch of data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed further deterioration on April’s numbers, and pointed to an ongoing slump across key manufacturing and production sectors, many of which are reliant on strong exports.

Industrial production grew 5.0 per cent in May from a year earlier, down from 5.4 per cent the month before and below the expectations of a poll of economists, which had predicted 5.5 per cent growth.

This was the lowest reading since February 2002, when it was 2.7 per cent.

Within industrial production, manufacturing output grew 5.0 per cent year-on-year, down from 5.3 per cent in April.

The figure measures a period in which the US more than doubled tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent and indicates the damage being done the ongoing trade war.

With no end in sight and with most analysts not hopeful that a substantive trade deal can be reached at the G20 summit in Osaka at the end of June, Beijing must be bracing for a further sputtering in key growth engines.


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