This image taken May 3, 2018, shows a worker cutting steel at a factory in Huaibei in China's eastern Anhui province. – China's surplus with the United States increased in April, highlighting an imbalance between the economic titans as they struggle to reach an agreement to avert a potentially damaging trade war. (Photo by – / AFP) / China OUT (Photo credit to read – / AFP / Getty Images)
– | AFP | Getty Images
China's industrial output grew significantly slower than expected in October, as weakness in global and domestic demand and the drawn-out China-US trade war weighed on activity in the world's second-largest economy.
Industrial production rose Data from the National Bureau of Statistics released on Thursday showed 4.7% year-on-year in October, below the median forecast of 5.4% growth in a Reuters poll.
The indicators showed that other sectors also dropped significantly and lacked forecasts of retail sales growth back near a 1
The disappointing economic data brings the case for Beijing to regain support of the economy after China's economic growth slowed to its slowest pace for nearly three decades in the third quarter as the US trade war bruises hit factory production.
Wide activity in China's manufacturing sector remains weak with data this weekend showing factory door prices falling at their fastest pace in more than three years in October.
China's Official Procurement Responsibility Index (PMI) also showed that activity in the factory sector remained in contraction for a sixth month of the month.  "Certainly, optimism surrounding a phase-one US-China trade agreement can boost corporate investment in the short term," said China Economist Martin Lynge Rasmussen.
"But even though a smaller deal has been agreed over the coming months, this will only allow the focus to shift to the more crucial issues that we believe will eventually lead to the breakdown of trade talks. The case for further Monetary relief remains intact. "
Other data on Thursday showed China's real estate investment growth in the first ten months of 2019, which slowed year by year.
The China-US Customs War has hit global demand, disrupted supply chains and sustained financial markets.
While some evidence of recent progress in the trade negotiations between superpowers has pleased investors, officials from both sides have so far avoided the firm commitment to end the dispute.
This uncertainty still has to weigh their manufacturers and order books.
Thursday's data also showed investment in fixed assets, an important driver of economic growth, grew 5.2% from January to October, against expected growth of 5.4%. January-October growth was the lowest since the Reuters record began in 1996.
Private sector investment, which accounts for 60% of the country's total investment, grew 4.4% in January-October.
On Wednesday, China's government said Beijing would lower the minimum capital adequacy requirement for some infrastructure investment projects.
Retail sales increased by 7.2% from the previous year in October, lacking expected growth of 7.9% and corresponding to the more than 16-year low in April.
Consumers have been hit by higher food prices in recent months as pork and other meat prices rose sharply.
At the same time, consumers have been reluctant to make large purchases with car sales falling for the 16th straight month of October, data showed Monday.