Business

Chinese economy cools as government curbs hit property sector, factories

BEIJING: China's economy cooled further last month, with industrial output, fixed asset investment and retail sales missing expectations as the government extended a crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution.

Beijing is in the second year of a campaign to reduce high levels of debt as the authorities worry that riskier lending practices, especially in the real estate sector, could imperil the economy.

Data yesterday pointed to moderating growth over the next few quarters as credit expansion slows, with year-on-year industrial output gain of 6.2 per cent last month missing analysts' estimates of a 6.3 per cent rise and below a 6.6 per cent increase in September.

Fixed asset investment growth slowed to 7.3 per cent in the January to October period, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Analysts had expected an increase of 7.4 per cent.

"The moderation in activity data released today suggests that growth slowed last month and adds to our conviction that it will continue to do so in the quarters ahead," Nomura analysts wrote in a note to clients.

China's economy has surprised financial markets with robust growth of nearly 6.9 per cent in the first nine months of this year, underpinned by a recovery in its manufacturing and industrial sectors thanks to a government-led infrastructure spending spree, a resilient property market and unexpected strength in exports.

But the world's second largest economy has started to show signs of fatigue, with momentum seen slackening further as Beijing's crackdown on debt risks curbs demand and tighter pollution rules hit factory output. - REUTERS

ChinaEconomyPOLLUTION