China’s Q4 GDP slows to the weakest since the global financial crisis

China’s Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter rose by 6.4%, matching levels last seen in early 2009. The performance was aligned with economists’ forecasts but was weaker than the previous quarter’s 6.5% growth.

China Flag Source: Bloomberg

China’s economic growth for the fourth quarter expanded at the slowest pace since the global financial crisis, as domestic and foreign demand slackened amid the country’s trade conflict with the United States (US).

China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter rose by 6.4%, matching levels last seen in early 2009. The performance was aligned with economists’ forecasts but was weaker than the previous quarter’s 6.5% growth.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, GDP for the fourth quarter rose by 1.5% from a 1.6% rise in the previous quarter.

Chinese policy makers have been using targeted and limited stimulus measures to prop up its economy, refraining from those massive stimulus they had resorted to during past downturns which created high debt levels.

For the full year of 2018, China’s economy gained 6.6%, in line with estimates.

China to continue trade talks with the US later this month

President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor Liu He will be heading to the US around the end of this month for another round of trade talks between the two nations.

China needs to resolve the trade talks more than the US right now to boost its sluggish growth, fallen exports, and weakened factory sentiment.

China’s trade surplus for last year sank to the lowest since 2013, embedding signs of a likely slowdown in trade for this year amid a weak global economic narrative.

China is said to have lowered its economic growth target from last year’s rough target of 6.5%, to a range of between 6.0% and 6.5% for this year.

Despite slower growth, China’s December industrial output and retail sales better-than-expected

Separate government data showed a jump in industrial output and retail sales performance for December, hinting that the glum outlook for China may not be as bad as what experts predict.

China’s industrial output for December rose by 5.7%, which was better than estimates of a 5.3% rise and the previous month’s 5.4% increase.

Meanwhile, its retail sales for the month increased by 8.2%, edging up slightly compared to an 8.1% increase expected by economists.


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