Published: Wed, January 23, 2019
Business | By Pearl Harrison

China's birth rate falls to lowest in 70 years

China's birth rate falls to lowest in 70 years

For the full year, the economy expanded 6.6 percent, the slowest pace since 1990 and in line with estimates.

Lackluster domestic demand paired with the cooling effects of the trade war with the United States on exports contributed to the slowdown, continuing a downward trend that has been going on for several years now (with 2017 a surprise exception).

The NBS announced on Monday that Chinese economy grew at 6.6 per cent in 2018.

Fixed-asset investment rose 5.9 percent in 2018, the slowest in at least 22 years, as a regulatory crackdown on riskier financing and debt weighed on local government spending early in the year.

Slower growth in China means slower growth for the rest of the world. That's all the more reason why a solution needs to be quickly worked out for the US-China trade war.

There are also many doubts about the consistency and veracity of Chinese statistics, given that the governments of many provinces tend to inflate results.

"For China's population, the biggest event in the first half of 21st century is the arrival of negative growth", a January report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said. The speech by Xiang Songzuo, which AsiaNews will publish in the next few hours, has been censored on the internet.

China's economy grew 6.6% in 2018, its slowest pace in nearly 30 years. This would mean a slight downgrade on the objective a year ago of growth of "about 6.5 percent".

His renewed determination comes as China increasingly displays an eagerness to come to terms with the president, saying now it is willing to work to eradicate the trade imbalance that has tilted so lopsidedly in its favor over the years. But the slowdown has been sharper than expected, prompting Beijing to boost spending on construction of roads and bridges and to order banks to lend more, especially to the entrepreneurs who generate most of China's new jobs and wealth.

Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping told the same story at a political function in Beijing on Monday, ostentatiously telling top officials to focus on "defusing major risks to ensure sustained and healthy economic development and social stability", as the state-run Xinhua news service put it.

China has accounted for a third of global annual growth over the past decade too, and the world has relied on the country to pull the broader economy out of recession.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley said last week that they had turned bullish on the yuan, both because the People's Bank of China (PBOC) would refrain from intervening during trade talks and as companies convert more dollars into yuan ahead of Lunar New Year payments.

Chinese officials say they will not resort to large scale stimulus like during the financial crisis to jolt growth, instead laying out policies like lower taxes and fees and less red tape to drive consumption.

With a population of almost 1.4 billion and an expanding middle-income group that topped 400 million in 2017, consumption will remain a major driver of growth, while policies to increase resident income and improve quality of goods and services will further unleash its potential, Ning said.

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