New Concerns About The Chinese Economy
- According to The Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government lowered its economic growth target this year to between six percent and 6.5 percent amid a deepening slowdown that is further exacerbated by elevated debt levels. Chinese authorities are considering increasing deficit spending, launching new tax cuts, and boosting bank lending to small and private companies in an effort to boost the economy.
- Trade data coming out of China for February was weaker than anticipated, CNBC reported last week. Exports from China fell 20.7 percent from February 2018 to February 2019, nearly quadruple the 4.8 percent decline analysts had predicted. Imports declined 5.2 percent year-over-year. The country’s overall trade surplus fell to $4.12 billion last month from $39.16 in January 2019.
- According to Fastmarkets AMM (subscription required), the volume of Chinese finished steel exports fell seven percent, to 4.51 million tonnes from 4.85 million tonnes, from February 2018 to February 2019. The journal explained, “The year-on-year drop was largely because of China’s uncompetitive export prices …” The amount of finished steel exported for the first two months of 2019 was 12.9 percent higher than in the first two months of 2018, however.