China's crude oil output growth slows in August

Marco Green
September 16, 2019

Government-driven infrastructure investment rose 4.2% year-on-year in the first eight months of 2019, up from 3.8% growth in the first seven months, marking the highest rate since the first four months of the year, NBS data showed.

In particular, the value of delivered industrial exports fell 4.3 per cent on-year, the first monthly decline since at least two years, Reuters records showed, reflecting the toll that the escalating Sino-US trade war is taking on Chinese manufacturers. August's data is the slowest growth since February 2002.

The protracted trade war escalated dramatically last month, with President Donald Trump announcing new tariffs on Chinese goods from September 1, and China letting its yuan currency sharply weaken days later.

While the two sides are set to resume face-to-face negotiations in early October, most analysts do not expect a durable trade deal, or even a significant de-escalation, any time soon.

"The low retail sales is particularly worrying", said Raymond Yeung, chief Greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. Analysts had forecast a slight rebound to 7.9 per cent. Stripping out vehicles, retail sales rose 9.3% on-year. Down from 5.7% growth during the first seven months of the year, the reading marked the lowest growth rate since investment grew 5.4% in the first nine months of 2018. Analysts had expected 5.6%.

This brought production in January-August to 664.87 million mt, standing 9.1% higher than the same period a year ago, greater than the 9% rise seen in January-July.

Funds raised by China's real estate developers increased 6.6% from a year earlier in the first eight months, also lower than a 7 percent rise in January-July, according to official data, a sign of continued liquidity pressures for developers amid tightened scrutiny on loans flowing to the housing sector.

Data last week showed factory-gate prices fell at their fastest pace in three years and analysts predict that producer deflation will continue to worsen in the coming months.

Washington and Beijing, meanwhile, have extended olive branches ahead of trade war talks next month, with the U.S. delaying a new round of tariffs by two weeks and China exempting some products from punitive duties.

Natural gas output reached 13.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) last month, 6.6% higher than a year earlier, according to the data.

Among measures to support the economy recently, the central bank freed up 900 billion yuan (US$127.2 billion) in liquidity earlier this month by cutting banks' reserve requirement ratio (RRR). Articles appear on for a limited time.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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