China Economic Growth

The world’s second-largest economy continued to grow in the first quarter, beating expert expectations despite the ongoing trade war with the United States.

China’s economy surpassed projections as growth steadied in the first quarter of 2019 in spite of lukewarm worldwide interest, a United States trade war and a fight against the country’s growing debt, economic data revealed Wednesday. The nation’s economy expanded by 6.4 percent in the January to March period, faster than the 6.3 percent projected by economic experts in an AFP survey, according to official GDP figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Investors have been observing the health of the Chinese economy closely amid Beijing’s ongoing dispute with Washington. Chinese authorities’ GDP figures are followed closely, however, many experts have long exhibited skepticism about the exactness of China’s reports.

Is Chinese growth slowing? 

In 2018, China’s economy grew by 6.6 percent, the most steady speed since the 1990s. Chinese officials developed the 2018 spending plan with a deficit of 2.38 trillion yuan or about 2.6 percent of GDP.

A recovery in Chinese expansion and demand for imports could help to fortify deteriorating international economic activity. China is the most vital export buyer for its Asian neighbors and a top market for automobiles, cellphones, consumer goods, food, and industrial innovation.

Chinese leaders stepped up general government costs in 2018, telling banks to lend more after financial pursuit flatlined, raising the risk of politically hazardous job losses.

New credit overflowed into the financial system last month, with the growth of bank loans and overall outstanding credit hastening, though analysts say it will take about six months to spark an economic turnaround.

The trade war carries on

The trade war between China and the U.S. has weighed on financial activity internationally, particularly in the second half of last year. That put further stress on China as the country was trying to wean its economy off excessive dependence on debt to expand, causing concerns that the Asian giant was heading towards a rough patch.

The two sides have gone tit-for-tat on tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, harming producers in China and farmers in the United States. And while progress is being made in the trade war, so far, no date has been set to bring together President Donald Trump and his equivalent Xi Jinping.

Major stock market indexes mixed

Major stock market indexes were mixed in Asia on Wednesday after news that China’s economy grew at a better than anticipated 6.4% annual rate in the first quarter.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 posted a gain of 0.25 percent to close at 22,277.97, with shares of index heavyweights Quick Selling and Fanuc increasing 0.92 percent and 0.42 percent, respectively. The Topix index also included 0.26 percent to complete its trading day at 1,630.68.

Over in South Korea, however, the Kospi fell 0.12 percent to close at 2,245.89. The ASX 200 in Australia also fell 0.33 percent to end the trading day at 6,256.40 as nearly all the sectors slipped.

The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.3% to 3,263.12, failing to match Tuesday’s 2.4% rally.

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