Putting China’s growth figures in context, Neil Wilson at markets.com says growth of 6.5% is “a nice problem to have”.
Growth of 6.5% rather than 6.6% is a pretty nice problem to have but the trade war with the US, higher debt levels and a depreciating currency remain a concern.
Any bounce in Chinese stocks needs to be seen in the context of the three-year collapse in equities.
One of the weaker spots in China’s economy was industrial production, with growth slowing to 5.8% year-on-year in September, from 6.1% in August.
Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon, says:
The slowdown makes sense in the context of the sharp downtrend in the manufacturing PMIs in recent months.
The breakdowns available at this stage offer little sign of green shoots. In particular, cement production is falling again, though this could reflect environmental curbs, rather than suggesting that the construction sector is back in the doldrums, after its recent positive contribution.
China growth slows as trade war looms
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
China’s economy grew by 6.5% in the third quarter according to official figures published this morning.
It was the slowest rate since the depths of the financial crisis in the first quarter of 2009, and slightly below economists’ forecasts of 6.6% growth.
It followed growth of 6.7% in the second quarter, and the slowdown of the world’s second largest economy is expected to continue as the effects of China’s trade war with the US are increasingly felt.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, gives his take:
Official GDP growth slowed last quarter consistent with broader evidence that the economy is cooling. There are some early signs in the September data that policy support is starting to gain traction, but we think more easing will still be needed in order to stabilise growth.
Looking ahead, we doubt the latest pick-up in infrastructure spending will be enough to prevent the economy from cooling further in the coming quarters. Policy easing has yet to reverse the downward trajectory in broad credit growth, a key headwind to the economy, and front-loading by US importers means that the impact of tariffs has yet to be felt.
We anticipate a further loosening of both monetary and fiscal policy in the coming months, which should put a floor under growth by about the middle of 2019.
Also coming up today, UK public finance figures for September at 9.30am BST will provide insight into how much spending room the chancellor, Philip Hammond, might have ahead of his budget on 29 October.
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