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China's Industrial Output Growth Falls To A 17-Year Low

Olga Robert

China's industrial output growth for the first two months of the year 2019 fell to a 17-year low. The jobless rate in the second largest economy in the world also increased, adding to its woes.

Weak domestic and international demand deteriorated China's industrial output growth to 5.3 percent in the January-February period which is less than expected and the slowest pace since early 2002. It was expected that the growth would cool down to 5.5 percent from December's 5.7 percent.

As 2019 growth appears to fall to 29-year lows, its government has been taking measures like cut in taxes and fees to boost activity. Analysts believe that the effects of these or rather any convincing stabilization may not be seen until the middle of the year.

Last week, Premier Li Keqiang announced hundreds of billions of dollars in additional tax cuts and infrastructure spending, even as officials vowed they would not resort to massive stimulus like it did in the past.

However, a mix of major data released on Thursday showed that the property investment in China was picking up while overall retail sales were sluggish but steady, indicating that its economy may be facing a sharp slowdown after all.

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