China: Better December growth despite a slower Q4 - Standard Chartered

Chinas economy grew at slowest pace in 28 years in 2018

The new data lowering the figures was released on Friday after final verification pointing to the continued slowdown of China's economy.

In line with economists' estimates, the annual growth rate of China's economy in 2018 was 6.6%.

Growing signs of weakness in China - which has generated almost a third of global growth in the past decade - are stoking worries about risks to the world economy and are weighing on profits for firms ranging from Apple to big carmakers.

The state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has projected that the population could start shrinking from 2027 - three years earlier than expected - if the birth rate held steady at 1.6 children per woman. "We believe deregulating the property markets in big cities is the key to unlocking a growth recovery", said analysts from Nomura.

CHINA'S ECONOMY: The 6.6 percent expansion of the world's second-largest economy was down from 2017's 6.9 percent and the weakest since 1990.

Beijing's propaganda wizards say the economy's slow growth signifies the nation's transition from a debt-fuelled economy to one led by innovation and top officials have long branded slower growth the "new normal" for China's economy.

The slowing housing market is exerting additional downward pressure on the economy. "There may be some more uneven growth along the way, but the hi-tech industries, the high value-added ones, also have the advantage of being relatively less credit dependent than the older industries which have become the zombie companies of today", said Mann.

Property investment is also looking wobbly, with analysts waiting to see if Beijing will risk loosening restrictions on home buyers that have kept a potential housing bubble in check.

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Consumer price index rose 2.1 percent year on year in 2018, achieving the government's target of capping consumer inflation below 3 percent. Auto sales in the world's biggest vehicle market shrank for the first time in 2018 since the 1990s. The move comes a little over a week after reports that USA and Chinese officials had made progress on efforts to get China to nail down plans to purchase increased amounts of us agricultural, energy, and manufactured goods and services, Reuters reported on January 10. China's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) dropped to 49.4, the weakest reading since February 2016.

China isn't set to come to the rescue of a weakening world economy even amid signs policy makers are successfully cushioning some of its slowdown.

"Things are going very well with China and with trade", he told reporters at the White House.

But he also flagged the risk to sentiment and investment from the trade war and cautioned that negotiations between the U.S. and China could yet fail to resolve their differences.

Research by a University of Chicago assistant professor, Luis Martinez, in 2017 suggests that authoritarian regimes inflate GDP growth rates.

Trade frictions' influence to market confidence became more apparent in the fourth quarter, weighing on China's economic growth, said Cong.

As fears for a sharp slowdown mounted amid uncertainties over whether the trade war will be brought to an end any time soon, Beijing has been drumming the message that it has plenty of room to deploy measures to spur economic growth.

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