SHANGHAI – China’s industrial production grew by 4.4 percent year-on-year in August, 0.4 percent less than the previous month, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said Monday.
The figure, which is well below the 5.2-5.5 percent estimated growth that had been forecast by analysts for August, represents the slowest growth in the sector since February 2002 and highlights the weakness of domestic demand amid the ongoing trade war with the United States.
This slowdown, according to the British consultancy Capital Economics, was liable to continue in the short term, as it was the result of “cyclical moderation.”
“A weaker renminbi (the official name of the Chinese currency) is unlikely to fully offset the increasing headwinds from US tariffs and cooling global demand, and we expect a further slowdown in economic activity over the coming year as a result,” Capital Economics said.
Industrial production, the NBS recalled, is used to measure the activity of large companies with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan (about $2.83 million).
The NBS added that during the first eight months of the year, industrial production grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year, 0.2 percent less than that recorded between January-July.
The Bureau also released its data on China’s fixed-asset investment, which grew by 5.5 percent in the first eight months of the year (0.2 percent less than in the January-July period) owing to a slump in construction and real estate, which overshadowed a strong expenditure on infrastructure.
Data on retail sales of consumer goods showed the sector grew by 7.5 percent year-on-year in August, 0.1 percent less than the previous month.