China second-quarter GDP growth softens amid trade war

Published: July 16, 2018 13:43:26 | Updated: July 19, 2018 12:33:11

File Photo (Reuters)

China economy grew 6.7 per cent in second quarter year-on-year, its slowest pace since 2016, as Beijing’s efforts to contain debt hurt activity.

The country’s June factory output growth weakened to a two-year low in a worrying sign for investment and exporters as a trade war with the United States intensified.

The second-largest economy of the world looks set to meet the official 2018 growth target of around 6.5 per cent amid the ongoing trade row with Washington, reports Reuters.

“We expect growth in H2 to be challenged by the slow credit growth and softer real estate activity. Also, the intensifying trade conflict with the US will start to weigh on growth,” Louis Kuijs, Head Of Asia Economics for Oxford Economics in Hong Kong, wrote in a note.

The second quarter GDP figure was slightly below the first quarter’s 6.8 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, with net exports making a dent on overall first half economic growth.

Data on Friday showed China’s exports grew at a solid pace in June, though analysts suggest front-loading of shipments ahead of tariffs taking effect may have boosted the figures.

Fixed asset investment in infrastructure grew 7.3 per cent in the first half of the year, compared to 21.1 per cent in the first half of 2017.

Retail sales growth picked up in June from May, but year-to-date growth is down to 9.4 per cent from 10.4 per cent in the first half of last year.

The surveyed jobless rate in June was unchanged from May at 4.8 per cent.

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