China’s economy slows to weakest pace since 2009

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The easterly province of Shandong produced 10 per cent of China's total new population in 2017 (1.75 million) but in 2018, but preliminary data shows the birth rate is slowing. The rise was higher than expected, with analysts forecasting a gain of 5.3 per cent, according to a Bloomberg survey.

"If we look back, the three factors driving renminbi depreciation, including dollar appreciation, the trade war and interest rate differentials previous year, only dollar appreciation has turned", said Tommy Xie, an economist at OCBC Bank in Singapore.

The number of children born in China declined for the second straight year in 2018 despite the country relaxing its one-child policy two years ago, government data released on Monday showed.

Chinese smartphone sales dropped 8 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to Counterpoint Research.

"China posts slowest economic numbers since 1990 due to US trade tensions and new policies".

China's economy faces downward pressure and there would be targeted solutions to the challenge, the NBS said in a statement.

After China implemented the comprehensive two-child policy that allows all couples to have two children - abandoning its decades-long one-child policy - in 2016, the country's health authority predicted that the fertility rate in 2017 and 2018 would be 1.97 and 2.09.

By that gauge, China's birth rate dropped from 12.95 every 1,000 people in 2016 to 10.94 past year.

For the full year, property investment increased 9.5 percent from the year-earlier period, down from 9.7 percent in January-November.

Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping told the same story at a political function in Beijing on Monday, ostentatiously telling top officials to focus on "defusing major risks to ensure sustained and healthy economic development and social stability", as the state-run Xinhua news service put it.

The IMF has now revised down its predictions for global growth in 2019 warning that the world economy is weakening faster than expected. Last month, iPhone maker Apple issued its first revenue warning in almost 12 years, citing weak Chinese demand. Auto sales in the world's biggest vehicle market shrank for the first time since the 1990s. "Export growth is likely to moderate in 2019 due to weaker external demand".

While analysts say the standoff has dented confidence - leaving the stock markets battered and the yuan weakened - they attribute most of the downturn to the government policies to tackle growing debt, financial risk and pollution. It has ruled out any return to the kind of massive stimulus package, based on government spending and the expansion of credit, that followed the 2008-2009 crisis because of concerns over the debt levels in the Chinese economy.

Measures to do so include speeding-up of construction projects, cutting some taxes, and reducing levels of reserves Chinese banks are required to hold.

The growth target range will be released publicly at the National People's Congress in early March.