China's economy grew at slowest pace in 28 years in 2018

Chinas economy grew at slowest pace in 28 years in 2018

Residents perform making traditional brocade of the Tujia ethnic group at Wulingyuan scenic spot in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan Province, June 7, 2018, China's economy grew 6.6 percent year on year in 2018, above the official target of around 6.5 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Monday.

Output at factories and workshops ticked up 6.2 per cent for the year, down from 6.6 per cent in 2017.

The 2018 figure marks the lowest expansion since 1990.

It's believed that debt cleanup and trade woes played a considerable part in China's slow growth in the last quarter.

China adopted the universal second-child policy at the beginning of 2016, allowing all couples to have two children, to counter problems such as ageing and dwindling workforce.

President Trump has let China know that he is ready to conclude a trade deal that addresses US concerns and just as prepared to continue levying tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States if such an agreement can not be reached.

So if China was looking to exert itself on multiple fronts to attain a position that was commensurate with its contemporary national power, then it would have known that countries such as the U.S. would push back. The speech by Xiang Songzuo, which AsiaNews will publish in the next few hours, has been censored on the internet.

"Things are going very well with China and with trade", he told reporters at the White House. They note the government's move on Friday, just ahead of Monday's data release, to cut the 2017 growth rate to 6.8% from 6.9%, which they said provides a slightly lower base, giving a slight boost to the fresh 2018 data.

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Premier Li Keqiang has also vowed to keep economic growth within a "reasonable range" by promoting more innovation.

Research by Cornell University associate professor Jeremy Wallace in 2016 indicates that provincial Chinese public officials will exaggerate GDP growth rates that they report on to the national government, while analysis on China conducted by Bloomberg in January 2018 suggests that GDP was "probably overstated" at provincial levels between 2011 and 2015.

China's surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 4.9 per cent in December, 0.1 percentage point lower than that in December of the previous year.

"To us, that is the main swing factor in a negative direction in 2018, maybe in a slightly more positive direction in 2019".

"If we look back, the three factors driving renminbi depreciation, including dollar appreciation, the trade war and interest rate differentials previous year, only dollar appreciation has turned", said Tommy Xie, an economist at OCBC Bank in Singapore.

Standard Chartered bank's global chief economist David Mann suggested that the Chinese government will not resort to any aggressive stimulus measures and will continue minor policy support measures to meet growth targets in 2019, while acknowledging the slowdown of the economy in the country.

Total exports fell to United States dollars 221.25 billion in December, down 1.4 per cent from November, and 4.4 per cent from the same month in 2017.

The trade conflict, debt curbs, slumping consumer confidence as well as a lack of "animal spirits" are all major headwinds the economy is facing this year, according to Stephen Chang, portfolio manager for Asia at Pacific Investment Management Hong Kong.

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