China registers stable employment in 2019

Andrew Cummings
January 17, 2020

Analysts had expected growth to dip to 5.9% from 6.2% in November.

China's value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, expanded 5.7 per cent year on year in 2019, slowing from 6.2 per cent growth in 2018.

US-based academic Yi Fuxian, senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told the AFP news agency that even though China has abolished its One Child Policy, there has been a shift in the mindset of the population, with people now used to smaller families.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 6.0% in the October-December quarter, hovering at the weakest pace in almost three decades.

China's birth rate dropped past year to its lowest level since the Communist country was founded in 1949, adding to concerns that an ageing society and shrinking workforce will pile pressure on a slowing economy.

Chinese economy was hit hard by the USA tariffs as a result of the trade war between the two countries.

"Retail sales growth were steady, indicating still pretty resilient consumers despite growing downward pressure on the labor market", she said. "This, together with the "phase one" deal, surely reduces the downside risks to the economy for 2020, offering comfort to policy-makers to stick with a measured easing approach".

"However, we should also be aware that the global economic and trade growth is slowing down", he said at a news conference.

Despite falling to a new low since 1990, when political turmoil drove economic growth down to 3.9 per cent, the 6.1 per cent rate met the target range of between 6.0 per cent and 6.5 per cent set by the central government at the beginning of a year ago, but was below the market expectation of 6.2 per cent.

China's National Bureau of Statistics put the number of births in 2019 at 14.65 million, a drop of more than half a million from the previous year. China had such a drop in birth rates only in the year 1961 amidst a starvation.

Chinese per capita consumer spending increased by 5.5 per cent year on year in real terms to reach 21,559 yuan in 2019.

Data earlier this week also showed that China's exports rose for the first time in five months in December, and its imports beat estimates.

Real estate investment rose 9.9% in 2019 from a year earlier, slowing slightly from a 10.2% gain in the first 11 months of the year.

A lower death rate despite the current birth rate crisis in China meant its population was still 1.4 billion in 2019.

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