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ECONOMY: Economy Slows in October
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Economy Slows in October
By Anthony

BT 201712 Economy 04      根据我国国家统计局本月早些时候的数据来看,10月份中国的经济增速放缓,但整体经济实力仍然强劲。工业生产指数比去年同期增长了6.2%,但该增幅比预期的6.3%有所下降,比前一个月下降了0.4%。房地产带来的经济效益占我国GDP的25%至30%。但最近的数据表明,在十九大结束之后,房地产增速有所下滑:前10个月增速同比回落7.8个百分点。零售额同比回落10个百分点,比上月低0.3个百分点。

      在能源方面,石油和天然气私人固定资产投资在前10个月同比下降22.3%。 1 - 10月份的铁路运输投资额同比下降58.6%。




BT 201712 Economy 01China’s economic activity slowed down in October as data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed earlier this month, but the country’s overall economic strength remains strong and is on track to achieve whole-year growth targets, as claimed by government officials. Industrial production grew by 6.2% from a year prior in October, but this was short of the 6.3% growth that was expected and fell by 0.4% from a month prior.

BT 201712 Economy 02The property sector slowed, as investment growth eased to 7.8% year-on-year over the first 10 months while retail sales growth moderated to 10% year-on-year in October, down by 0.3 percentage point from last month. Historically, changes in house prices have served as good leading indicators for the Chinese economic cycle. This is because property and its associated sectors make up a significant portion of the Chinese economy. According to Moody's, 25% to 30% of Chinese GDP is ultimately linked to property and construction. Recent data increasingly suggests that a cyclical downturn is coming, following the conclusion of the 19th Party Congress held earlier in October.

BT 201712 Economy 03Fixed-asset investment also saw weaker growth of 7.3% year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year, as compared with 7.5% during the first nine months. Private fixed-asset investment in petroleum and natural gas dropped to 22.3% in the first 10 months from the same period a year earlier. Private fixed investment in railway transportation fell to 58.6% on year in Jan.- Oct. Fixed investment in ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals decreased by 10.2% and 4.6% respectively in the first ten months from a year ago. The surveyed jobless rate in 31 cities remained below 5% in October for an eighth straight month, statistics bureau spokeswoman Liu Aihua said during a briefing on Tuesday.

China's consumer prices increased by 1.9% year over year in October compared with 1.6% in September, and came in above expectations of 1.8%, as per the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). However, it is still way behind China's target of 3%. The bureau also added that producer prices increased by 6.9% YOY in October, unchanged from September and above expectations of a 6.6% increase.

BT 201712 Economy 06Steady production growth, sound employment and stable consumer prices indicated that the overall economic performance remained in the “reasonable” territory, which laid a solid foundation for the country’s fulfillment of its whole-year economic target, Liu said at a news conference in Beijing.

The Chinese government has set the whole-year economic growth target at around 6.5 per cent. The country already saw robust growth of 6.9% in the first three quarters. Despite the moderate economic contraction in October, Qu Tianshi, an economist at ANZ Group, said he remained optimistic about China’s economic outlook as the government policy priority will focus on pushing reform and reducing economic leverage.

BT 201712 Economy 07Chinese industrial enterprises reported total profit of 5.58 trillion Yuan ($840 billion) in the first nine months of the year, up by 22.8% year-on-year. The growth rate was 14.4% faster than the same period of last year.

China’s urban unemployment rate dropped below 5% in October and the number of new jobs created in cities during the first 10 months stood at 11.9 million, already exceeding the whole-year target of 11 million, according to Liu, the NBS official.

Chinese equity markets are also subject to geopolitical risks as Asian markets suffer from massive volatility due to North Korea's actions. It will be interesting to see how Chinese policymakers strike a balance between economic growth, debt concerns and pollution curbs in the near future.

Given the significant size of investments as a large proportion of the Chinese economy, data relating to investment activity is also watched closely. In particular, investors focus on fixed asset investment growth rates, given China's large appetite for natural resources. According to CEIC data, investment as a portion of Chinese GDP reached 44.2% in 2016.


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