China's Growth Slumps to Lowest Since 1990

Economic activity suffered a sharp drop in the fourth quarter of last year

China is expected to report on Monday that economic growth cooled to its slowest in 28 years in 2018 amid weakening domestic demand and bruising USA tariffs, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more support measures to avert a sharper slowdown.

Numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics today put the population at 1.395 billion in 2018, marking a growth rate of.38 per cent over the previous year.

"China's economy is likely to weaken further before growth stabilizes in the second half of the year on the back of expanded policy stimulus", Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. That risks disappointing the investors and business leaders descending on Davos for the World Economic Forum's annual meeting and who are already concerned by trade wars, the United States government shutdown and Brexit.

Japan is feeling the indirect effects of the US-China trade spat because it exports equipment and supplies used by Chinese makers of semiconductors, mobile phones and many other products.

China's population growth rate continued to slow in 2018, spelling possible trouble ahead as a swelling number of retirees pushes up against a shrinking labor pool.

President Trump has let China know that he is ready to conclude a trade deal that addresses US concerns and just as prepared to continue levying tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States if such an agreement can not be reached. Retail sales growth has also fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade.

Analysts have said that the Sino-U.S. trade war, now in a temporary truce, has affected and will continue to take a toll on China's domestic demand and job market, if not resolved. The state-run Global Times, for example, called the growth rate "reasonable", insisted the consumer economy is still humming along and blamed American "unilateralism" for the loss of confidence in Chinese markets.

India, the world's second most populous nation, has also been experiencing slower population growth.

Simona Halep v Serena Williams: Australian Open last 16
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China's economic slowdown is not news in itself.

China's communist leaders are trying to steer the country to slower, more self-sustaining growth based on consumer spending instead of trade and investment.

Trump said Saturday that trade relations with China were "going very well" and "a deal could very well happen".

"The financial pressure of life in the city makes the idea of having a child nearly impossible", Cai said.

Apple assembler Foxconn let go of about 50,000 contract workers since October a year ago at the company's iPhone assembling factory at Zhengzhou City, the capital of China's Henan Province, according to a January 18 report by Japanese media Nikkei.

Nomura analysts said current stimulus measures will not be sufficient and the government will need to do more to prevent a rapid deterioration in the economy.

Industrial output saw an increase of 5.7 percent from a year earlier and marking an improvement from the 5.4 percent see in November.

The number of people aged over 60 now constitute 17.9% of the Chinese population, adding to its demographic challenges and fuelling fears that the country might be headed towards economic stagnation like Japan.

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