Friday October 18 2019
China Economy Grows 1.5% QoQ in Q3
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy expanded by a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent on quarter in the three months to September 2019, following a 1.6 percent growth in the previous period and matching market consensus.

Year-on-year, the economy grew 6.0 percent in the September quarter, slowing from a 6.2 percent expansion in the previous quarter and compared with market expectations of 6.1 percent. It was the lowest growth rate since the first quarter of 1992, amid persistent trade tensions with the US, weakening global demand and alarming off-balance-sheet borrowings by local governments.




Friday October 18 2019
China Q3 GDP Growth Weakest in 27-1/2 Years
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced 6.0 percent year-on-year in the September quarter of 2019, slowing from a 6.2 percent expansion in the previous quarter and compared with market expectations of 6.1 percent. It was the weakest growth rate since the first quarter of 1992, amid persistent trade tensions with the US, weakening global demand and alarming off-balance-sheet borrowings by local governments.

China's economy expanded 6.2 percent in the first nine months of the year. The value added of the primary industry was up by 2.9 percent; the secondary industry by 5.6 percent; and the tertiary industry by 7.0 percent.

Industrial production grew 5.6 percent from a year earlier in the January to September period. For September only, factory output rose 5.8 percent year-on-year, after a 4.4 percent increase in the previous month and beating market consensus of 5 percent. This was the largest gain in industrial output since June, as production advanced further for both manufacturing (5.6 percent vs 4.3 percent in August) and mining (8.1 percent vs 3.7 percent). Meantime, utilities output growth was steady (at 5.9 percent). By industry, production went up at a faster pace for textiles (0.6 percent vs 0.1 percent), chemicals (3.3 percent vs 1.2 percent), communication (11.4 percent vs 4.7 percent), power equipment (5.4 percent vs 5.1 percent), and machinery (12.1 percent vs 10 percent). On the other hand, output growth eased for non-metal minerals (7 percent vs 8.1 percent), ferrous metals (9.5 percent vs 10.4 percent), and transport equipment (4.7 percent vs 7.8 percent).

Retail sales rose 8.2 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of the year. In September only, retail trade rose by 7.8 percent over a year earlier, following a 7.5 percent gain in the previous month and in line with market estimates. Sales went up further for cosmetics (13.4 percent vs 12.8 percent in August), home appliances (5.4 percent vs 4.2 percent), furniture (6.3 percent vs 5.7 percent), and telecoms (8.4 percent vs 3.5 percent). In addition, sales fell less for jewellery (-6.6 percent vs -7 percent), oil & oil products (-0.4 percent vs -1.2 percent), and automobiles (-2.2 percent vs -8.1 percent). Meanwhile, sales growth slowed for garments (3.6 percent vs 5.2 percent), personal care (12 percent vs 13 percent) and building materials (4.2 percent vs 5.9 percent). Also, sales of office supplies dropped (-0.2 percent vs 19.8 percent).

China's fixed-asset investment increased 5.4 percent to CNY 46.12 trillion in January to September, slowing from a 5.5 percent rise in the first eight months of the year and matching market consensus. Private investment growth eased (4.7 percent vs 4.9 percent in January-August) while public investment rose faster (7.3 percent vs 7.1 percent). By sector, fixed-asset investment went up less for both manufacturing (2.5 percent vs 2.6 percent), and transport, storage and postal industry (4.7 percent vs 5.5 percent). By contrast, investment growth was unchanged for both mining (at 26.2 percent), and utilities (at 0.4 percent), while investment grew faster for water conservancy, environment and public facilities (3.5 percent vs 2.4 percent). In addition, investment in agriculture, forestry, fishery fell at a softer pace (-2.1 percent vs -3.0 percent).

Figures released earlier showed exports rose 5.2 percent in the first nine months of the year, while imports fell 0.1 percent. For September only, exports dropped 3.2 percent year-on-year to USD 218.12 billion. This was the steepest yearly fall in overseas sales since February. Meanwhile, following a recent first phase of a trade deal, US President Donald Trump suspended a threatened tariff hike set for October 15th. Imports slumped 8.5 percent to USD 178.47 billion, marking the fifth straight consecutive yearly decrease.

On a quarterly basis, the economy expanded 1.5 percent in the three months to September 2019, easing from a 1.6 percent growth in the previous period and matching market consensus.




Tuesday October 15 2019
China Inflation Rate Rises to Near 6-Year High
Statistics China l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's annual inflation rose to 3 percent in September 2019 from 2.8 percent in the previous month and above market expectations of 2.9 percent. This was the highest inflation rate since October 2013, mainly due to persistently high pork prices following an outbreak of African swine fever.

The politically sensitive food inflation rose to 11.2 percent in September, the highest since October 2011, as pork prices soared 69.3 percent, the seventh straight month of increase, after a 46.7 percent gain in August. Also, cost rose faster for both edible oil (2.3 percent vs 1 percent) and eggs (8.2 percent vs 3.6 percent). Meantime, prices of fresh fruits slowed (7.7 percent vs 24 percent), while cost of fresh vegetables continued to fall (-11.8 percent vs -0.8 percent).

Non-food price inflation eased (1 percent vs 1.1 percent in August), amid a softer rise in cost of rent, fuel & utilities (0.7 percent vs 1 percent), household goods & services (0.6 percent vs 0.7 percent), healthcare (2.2 percent vs 2.3 percent), and education, culture & recreation (1.7 percent vs 2.1 percent). In addition, transport and communication prices dropped further (-2.9 percent vs -2.3 percent). On the other hand, inflation was unchanged for clothing (at 1.6 percent), while cost of other goods and services advanced at a faster pace (5.8 percent vs 4.7 percent).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was at 1.5 percent in September, the same as in August.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.9 percent in September, the most since February, following a 0.7 percent gain in August and higher than market estimates of 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, China's producer price index fell 1.2 percent year-on-year in September, following a 0.8 percent decrease in the previous month and matching market expectations. It was the sharpest fall in producer prices since July 2016, as cost of means of production dropped further (-2 percent vs -1.3 percent in August),  due to raw materials (-4.8 percent vs -3.5 percent), processing (-1.2 percent vs -0.8 percent), and extraction (0.6 percent vs 2.8 percent). Meanwhile, prices went up faster for consumer goods (1.1 percent vs 0.7 percent), of which food production (3.3 percent vs 2.6 percent), daily use goods (0.8 percent vs 0.6 percent), clothing (0.9 percent, the same as in August) and durable goods (-1.8 percent vs -2 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices rose by 0.1 percent in September. Considering the first nine month of the year, producer prices were flat compared with the same period of 2018.




Monday October 14 2019
China September Trade Surplus Beats Expectations
General Administration of Customs l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus widened to USD 39.65 billion in September 2019 from USD 30.26 billion in the same month a year earlier and compared to market expectations of a USD 33.3 billion surplus.

Exports declined by 3.2 percent year-on-year to USD 218.12 billion in September, compared to market estimates of 3 percent drop and following a 1 percent fall in August. This was the steepest yearly drop in overseas sales since February, amid weakening global demand and ongoing trade dispute with the US. Meanwhile, following a recent first phase of a trade deal, US President Donald Trump suspended a threatened tariff hike set for October 15th. Previously from September 1st, Washington imposed 15 percent tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods, and Beijing hit back with retaliatory levies. Sales contracted for crude oil (-70.5 percent to 0.08 million tonnes), unwrought aluminium and products (-14.2 percent to 445,000 tonnes), coke & semi-coke (-25.8 percent to 0.39 million tonnes), steel products (-10.4 percent to USD 5.33 million tonnes) and rare earth (-27.9 percent to 4,950 tonnes). Also, exports of rice declined 46.9 percent to 93,000 tonnes. On the other hand, exports rose for refined products (39.6 percent to 5.68 million tonnes), and coal (34.5 percent to 0.24 million tonnes).

Among major trade partners, exports fell to the US (-17.8 percent); but rose to Japan (11 percent), South Korea (4.4 percent), Taiwan (29.5 percent), the EU (1.3 percent) and ASEAN countries (11.5 percent).

Imports slumped 8.5 percent to USD 178.47 billion, missing market consensus of a 5.2 percent fall and after a 5.6 percent drop in August. This was the fifth straight month of yearly decrease in imports, as purchases fell for unwrought copper (-14.6 percent to 445,000 tonnes), steel products (-7.6 percent to 1.11 million tonnes), rare earth (-27.9 percent to 3,571 tonnes), rubber (-10 percent to 546,000 tonnes), and refined products (-26.5 percent to 2.14 million tonnes). In contrast, iron ore imports jumped 93.47 percent to 99.36 million tonnes, its highest level in 20 months, fuelled by firm demand at steel mills and stable shipments from big miners. Also, purchases advanced for: crude oil (10.8 percent to 41.24 million tonnes), coal (20.5 percent to 30.29 million tonnes), and natural gas (7.8 percent to 8.21 million tonnes). In addition, imports of soybeans grew 2.3 percent to 8.2 million tonnes. Also, arrivals of edible vegetable oil rose 44.3 percent to 840,000 tonnes.

Purchases declined from the US (-20.6 percent), the EU (-7.1 percent), Japan (-3.7 percent), South Korea (-14.9 percent), and Taiwan (-1.7 percent), but grew from Australia (22.2 percent) and the ASEAN countries (15.1 percent). 

China's trade surplus with the US narrowed to USD 25.88 billion in September from USD 26.96 billion in August. Considering the first nine months of the year, trade surplus with the US was recorded at USD 221.33 billion.

In the January-September period, the trade surplus increased to USD 298.92 billion from USD 219.31 billion in the corresponding period the prior year, with exports falling 0.1 percent and imports declining at a faster 5 percent.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 275.15 billion in September, as exports shrank 0.7 percent and imports tumbled 6.2 percent. 





Tuesday September 10 2019
China August Inflation Rate Steady at 2.8%
Statistics China | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com

China's annual inflation rate was at 2.8 percent in August 2019, unchanged from the previous month and above market forecasts of 2.6 percent. It remained the highest consumer inflation rate since February 2018, driven by persistently high pork prices amid an outbreak of African swine fever.

The politically sensitive food inflation surged to 10 percent in August, as pork prices soared 46.7 percent, the sixth straight month of increase, after a 27 percent increase in July. Also, cost of edible oil rose further (1 percent vs 0.4 percent). Meantime, prices slowed for fresh fruits (24 percent vs 39.1 percet) and eggs (3.6 percent vs 10.5 percent) while cost of fresh vegetables fell (-0.8 percent vs 5.2 percent).

Non-food price inflation eased to 1.1 percent from 1.3 percent in the prior month, mainly due to rent, fuel & utilities (1 percent vs 1.5 percent); clothing (1.6 percent vs 1.8 percent); household goods & services (0.7 percent vs 0.8 percent); healthcare (2.3 percent vs 2.6 percent); and education, culture & recreation (2.1 percent vs 2.3 percent). In addition, transport and communication prices dropped faster (-2.3 percent vs -2.1 percent). By contrast, cost of other goods and services advanced at a faster pace (4.7 percent vs 3.4 percent).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, edged down to 1.5 percent in August from 1.6 percent in July.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.7 percent in August, the most since February, following a 0.4 percent gain in July and higher than market expectations of a 0.5 percent rise.

Meanwhile, China's producer price index fell 0.8 percent year-on-year in August 2019, following a 0.3 percent decrease in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a 0.9 percent decline. It was the sharpest fall in producer prices since August 2016, as cost of means of production dropped further (-1.3 percent vs -0.7 percent in July), mainly due to raw materials (-3.5 percent vs -2.9 percent), processing (-0.8 percent vs -0.2 percent), and extraction (2.8 percent vs 3.2 percent). Also, prices eased for consumer goods (0.7 percent vs 0.8 percent), of which durable goods (-2 percent vs -1.2 percent), food production (2 percent vs 2.2 percent), clothing (0.9 percent vs 1.3 percent) and daily use goods (0.6 percent vs 0.8 percent).


Sunday September 08 2019
China Trade Surplus Widens in August
General Administration of Customs | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus widened to USD 34.83 billion in August 2019 from USD 26.30 billion in the same month a year earlier and compared to market expectations of a USD 43.0 billion surplus.

Exports dropped 1 percent year-on-year to USD 214.80 billion in August, missing market consensus of a 2 percent growth and following a 3.3 percent increase in July. The decline came in amid persistently weak global demand and intensifying trade dispute with the US. Washington announced last month 15 percent tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods from September 1st, while Beijing hit back with retaliatory levies and let its yuan currency fall sharply to offset some of the pressure. More US tariffs measures are set to take effect in October and December. Sales of unwrought aluminium and products slumped 9.9 percent from a year earlier to 466,000 tonnes in August, the lowest since February, despite a weaker yuan as unexpected production outages at two key smelters meant there was less metal available for overseas shipments. Also, exports of coal plunged 29.8 percent to 0.34 million tonnes and those of coke & semi-coke tumbled 44 percent to 0.44 million tonnes. Steel products exports declined 14.8 percent to 5.01 million tonnes and those of refined products were down 23.4 percent to 4.08 million tonnes. Rice sales dropped 3.9 percent to 248,000 tonnes.

Among major trade partners, exports fell to the US (-16 percent) and Australia (-17 percent); but rose to the EU (3.2 percent), ASEAN (11.2 percent), Taiwan (24.6 percent), Japan (1.4 percent) and South Korea (1.9 percent). 

Imports slumped 5.6 percent to USD 179.97 billion, compared to market consensus of 6 percent fall and July's 5.3 percent drop. That was the fourth straight month of yearly decrease in imports, due to lower purchases of unwrought copper (-3.8 percent to 404,000 tonnes); steel products (-8.5 percent to 0.97 million tonnes); rubber (-11.7 percent to 538,000 tonnes); refined products (-22.7 percent to 2.09 million tonnes); and fuel oil (-28.3 percent to 0.98 million tonnes). In contrast, imports of crude oil jumped 9.9 percent to 42.17 million tonnes, and purchases of copper concentrate, or partially processed copper ore, advanced 9.2 percent to 1.815 million tonnes. Arrivals of iron ore rose 6.1 percent to 94.85 million in August, the highest in 19 months, boosted by rebounding supplies from big miners and mills replenishing inventory as demand stabilised. In addition, imports of soybeans grew 3.6 percent to 9.48 million tonnes, the highest level in nearly one-and-half-years. Purchases also increased for: natural gas (7.3 percent to 8.34 million tonnes); coal (14.9 percent to 32.95 million tonnes); rare earths (0.9 percent to 4,352 tonnes); and edible vegetable oil (51.7 percent to 907,000 tonnes).

Imports declined from the US (-22.4 percent), the EU (-5.2 percent), Japan (-8.8 percent), South Korea (-17.6 percent) and Taiwan (-1.4 percent). On the other hand, imports increased from ASEAN (7.6 percent) and Australia (32.2 percent).

China's trade surplus with the US narrowed to USD 26.95 billion in August from USD 27.97 billion in July.

In January-August, the trade surplus widened to USD 259.27 billion from USD 189.05 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 2.40 billion in August, as exports grew 2.6 percent and imports dropped 2.6 percent. 


Friday August 09 2019
China Inflation Rate Hits 17-Month High
Statistics China | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's annual inflation rate rose to 2.8 percent in July 2019 from 2.7 percent in the previous month and above market estimates of 2.7 percent. That was the highest rate since February 2018 boosted by the fastest increase in food prices since January 2012, as pork prices were persistently high in the wake of an outbreak of African swine fever.

The politically sensitive food inflation surged to 9.1 percent in July, its highest since January 2012, as pork prices jumped 27 percent after a 21.1 percent climb in June. In addition, prices rose faster for fresh fruits (39.1 percent vs 42.7 percent), fresh vegetables (5.2 percent vs 4.2 percent) and eggs (10.5 percent vs 6.2 percent), and edible oil (0.4 percent vs 0.1 percent).

Non-food price inflation inched lower to 1.3 percent in July from 1.4 in the previous month, as prices rose at softer pace for: rent, fuel & utilities (1.5 percent vs 1.6 percent); education, culture & recreation (2.3 percent vs 2.4 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was steady for both clothing (at 1.8 percent), and household goods & services (at 0.8 percent), while cost went up slightly faster for healthcare (2.6 percent vs 2.5 percent) and other goods and services (3.4 percent vs 2.7 percent). Transport and communication prices continued to fall (-2.1 percent vs -1.9 percent).

Annual core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, came in at 1.6 percent in July, unchanged from the previous month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in July, the most since February, following a 0.1 percent decline in June while markets had expected a 0.2 percent gain. 

Meanwhile, China's producer price index declined 0.3 percent year-on-year in July, after being unchanged in June and compared to market expectations of a 0.1 percent drop. This was the first yearly fall in producer prices since August 2016. Cost of means of production fell for the second straight month (-0.7 percent vs -0.3 percent), due to raw materials (-2.9 percent vs -2.1 percent) and processing (-0.2 percent vs flat reading) while extraction prices rose at slower rate (3.2 percent vs 4.5 percent). Meantime, consumer goods inflation hit its lowest in four months (0.8 percent vs 0.9 percent), of which food production (2 percent vs 2.2 percent), clothing (1.3 percent vs 1.6 percent), daily use goods (0.8 percent vs 0.5 percent), and durable goods (-1.2 percent vs -0.9 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices fell 0.2 percent in July, after a 0.3 percent drop in June.


Thursday August 08 2019
China July Trade Surplus Larger than Expected
General Administration of Customs | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

China's trade surplus soared to USD 45.05 billion in July 2019 from USD 27.49 billion in the same month a year earlier and above market consensus of USD 40 billion.

Exports rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier to USD 221.5 billion in July, defying market expectations of a 2 percent drop and following a 1.3 percent decline in June. This was the fastest yearly growth in overseas sales since March despite escalating trade tensions with the US, but the rebound may be short-lived, with Washington preparing to impose more tariffs on USD 300 billion of Chinese goods from September 1st. Sales of oil products surged 20 percent to 5.49 million tonnes, as refiners continued to move surplus products overseas. Rare earth exports, which include 17 chemical elements used in consumer electronics and military equipment, went up 15.8 percent to 5,243 tonnes last month, the highest since December 2018, despite worries over supply from China. Recently, China has raised the prospect of limiting rare earth exports to the US, but not yet publicly announced any restrictions. Meanwhile, aluminium exports fell 6.2 percent to 487,000 tonnes.

Among China's largest trade partners, exports rose to the EU (6.5 percent), ASEAN (15.6 percent), South Korea (9.2 percent), Taiwan (19.9 percent), and Australia (1.1 percent), but fell to the US (-6.5 percent) and Japan (-4.1 percent).

Imports declined 5.6 percent to USD 176.5 billion in July, less than an expected 8.3 percent fall and easing from a 7.3 percent fall in June. That was the third consecutive month of decrease in imports, suggesting domestic demand remained sluggish and could lead Beijing to add more stimulus. Purchases of unwrought copper were down 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 420,000 tonnes in July, but were up 29 percent from June and at the highest level since January. Meanwhile, imports of crude oil climbed 14 percent to 41.04 million tonnes while purchases of iron ore increased 1.2 percent to 91.02 million tonnes as supply grew from miners in Australia and Brazil. In addition, soybeans imports rose 8 percent to 8.64 million tonnes, the highest level in nearly a year, as importers increased their purchases of Brazilian beans on higher crush margins. Imports of copper concentrate, or partially processed copper ore, were up 12.4 percent to an all-time high of 2.07 million tonnes in July. Total natural gas imports were 7.89 million tonnes in July, up from 7.38 million tonnes a year earlier and the highest since January.

Imports dropped from the US (-19.1 percent), the EU (-3.3 percent), Japan (-13 percent), South Korea (-20.1 percent) and Taiwan (-6.8 percent), but were higher from Australia (18.7 percent) and ASEAN (0.4 percent).

China's trade surplus with the US narrowed to USD 27.97 billion in July from USD 29.92 billion in June. Considering the first seven months of the year, the country's trade surplus with the US was USD 168.5 billion.

In January-July, China's trade surplus surged to USD 225.67 billion from USD 162.75 billion in the corresponding period the prior year.

In yuan-denominated terms, China's trade surplus came in at CNY 310.26 billion in July, as exports jumped 10.3 percent and imports rose at much softer 0.4 percent.


Monday July 15 2019
China Economy Expands 1.6% QoQ in Q2
Statistics China | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy grew by a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2019, accelerating from a 1.4 percent expansion in the previous period and beating market consensus of 1.5 percent.

That was the fastest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2018.

Year-on-year, economy advanced 6.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, slowing from a 6.4 percent expansion in the previous three-month period and matching market expectations. It was the lowest growth rate since the first quarter of 1992, amid ongoing trade tensions with the US, weakening global demand and alarming off-balance-sheet borrowings by local governments.


Monday July 15 2019
China Q2 GDP Growth Weakest in 27 Years
Statistics China | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Chinese economy advanced 6.2 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, slowing from a 6.4 percent expansion in the previous three-month period and matching market expectations. It was the lowest growth rate since the first quarter of 1992, amid ongoing trade tensions with the US, weakening global demand and alarming off-balance-sheet borrowings by local governments.

China's economy expanded 6.3 percent in the first half of the year, with final consumption accounting for 60.1 percent of the GDP.The value added of the primary industry was up by 3.0 percent; the secondary industry by 5.8 percent; and the tertiary industry by 7.0 percent.

Industrial production grew 6 percent from a year earlier in the January to June period. For June only, factory output expanded 6.3 percent year-on-year in June 2019, accelerating from a 5 percent growth in the previous month and beating market consensus of 5.2 percent, boosted by increases in production of manufacturing (6.2 percent vs 5 percent in May), utilities (6.6 percent vs 5.9 percent) and mining (7.3 percent vs 3.9 percent). By industry, output growth accelerated for textiles (1.6 percent vs 0.7 percent); chemicals (5.4 percent vs 3.5 percent); ferrous metals (13.7 percent vs 11.7 percent); general equipment (2.6 percent vs 2.5 percent); transport equipment (14.5 percent vs 8.3 percent); machinery (11.3 percent vs 8.8 percent); and power equipment (5.6 percent vs 5 percent). Meanwhile, production slowed for non-metal minerals (9.5 percent vs 9.9 percent) and communication (10.4 percent vs 10.6 percent).

Retail sales rose 8.4 percent year-on-year in the first six months of the year. In June retail trade jumped 9.8 percent year-on-year in June 2019, after an increase of 8.6 percent in May and well above market expectations of 8.5 percent. That was the steepest advance in retail trade since March 2018, boosted by sales of automobiles (17.2 percent vs 2.1 percent); garments (5.2 percent vs 4.1 percent); cosmetics (22.5 percent vs 16.7 percent); jewelry (7.8 percent vs 4.7 percent); personal care (12.3 percent vs 11.4 percent); home appliances (7.7 percent vs 5.8 percent); office supplies (6.5 percent vs 3.1 percent); furniture (8.3 percent vs 6.1 percent); oil, oil products (3.5 percent vs 3.1 percent); and building materials (1.1 percent vs -1.1 percent). Meanwhile, sales of telecoms rose at a softer 5.9 percent, compared to 6.7 percent in May.

China's fixed-asset investment increased 5.8 percent year-on-year to CNY 29.91 trillion in the first half of 2019, compared to a 5.6 percent rise in the first five months of the year and beating market consensus of 5.6 percent, as private investment growth accelerated (5.7 percent vs 5.3 percent in January-May) while public investment lost momentum (6.9 percent vs 7.2 percent). By sector, fixed-asset investment went up faster for: manufacturing (3.0 percent vs 2.7 percent); transport, storage and postal industry (5.1 percent vs 5.0 percent); and water conservancy, environment and public facilities management (2.5 percent vs 1.4 percent). Meanwhile, fixed-asset investment expanded softer for mining (22.3 percent vs 26.1 percent) while declines were recorded in investment in both utilities (-0.5 percent vs 0.8 percent) and agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry; fishery (-0.8 percent vs -2.7 percent).

Figures released earlier showed exports edged up 0.1 percent in the first half of the year while imports slumped 4.3 percent. For June only, exports fell 1.3 percent from a year earlier to USD 212.84 billion, after tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese goods were raised from 10 percent to 25 percent by Washington in May, while purchases tumbled 7.3 percent to USD 161.86 billion.

On a quarterly basis, the economy grew by 1.6 percent in the second quarter, the strongest pace of expansion since the third quarter of 2018.