Chinese economic slowdown deepens
China’s economic growth continues to cool with the latest figures showing it is on track to expand at its weakest pace in 24 years
In October, factory output rose 7.7 percent, not as low as August’s 6.9 percent but still below forecasts. The last time it was near that low was at the height of the global financial crisis. November’s reading could be weaker still, as many factories in northern China shut early in the month to reduce air pollution as Asia-Pacific leaders met in Beijing.
Fixed-asset investment, which is an important driver of growth, grew 15.9 percent in the first 10 months of the year compared to the same period a year earlier. That was the weakest pace since December 2001.
Despite the soft economic performance China’s leaders remain reluctant to use full-blown stimulus measures, such as cutting interest rates. Growth in real estate investment, which affects about 40 other industries in China, cooled to 12.4 percent in the first 10 months of 2014 from a year earlier. October retail sales growth eased to 11.5 percent, the slowest pace since early 2006.