China reported a raft of unexpectedly weak July data, including a surprise drop in industrial output growth to a more than 17-year low, underlining widening economic cracks as the trade war with the United States intensifies.
Industrial output grew 4.8% in July from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, lower than the most bearish forecast in a Reuters poll.
Retail sales growth was also weaker than the most pessimistic forecast, rising 7.6% in July from a year earlier, compared with 9.8% in June and analysts’ expectations of 8.6%. When asked Liu put this down to a drop in auto-sales in July.
China’s economy has been slow to respond to a flurry of support measures rolled out since last year, with growth cooling to a near 30-year low in the second quarter. Business confidence also remains shaky, weighing on investment. Investors fear a longer and costlier trade war between the world’s two largest economies could trigger a global recession.