Trade war, day 118: Chinese manufacturing slows more than expected

Business & Technology

The Associated Press reports:

The purchasing managers’ index of the National Bureau of Statistics and an industry group, the China of Logistics and Purchasing, fell to 50.2 from September’s 50.8 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity expanding.

The drop was more than expected, the South China Morning Post says, and “might also be exacerbated by the ‘front loading’ behaviour of many Chinese exporters – boosting production and shipments now to fill orders for early next year before the scheduled tariff rate increase.”

A separate SCMP article detailed the government’s reaction to the bad economic news:

The Communist Party’s Politburo, the 25-member supreme policymaking body headed by President Xi Jinping, agreed on Wednesday that there was “growing downward pressure” on the economy with “profound changes” in the external environment

It was the “first time the leadership has showed public concern about China’s slowing economic growth since the trade war broke out with the US in the summer,” SCMP noted.

The Politburo meeting was the subject of the top story on all central state media today (English, Chinese). China watcher Bill Bishop interprets the official messaging from the meeting to mean that “a lot more measures are coming to help the economy and the markets.”

Other trade war and U.S.-China relations related news:

Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage:

Trade war, day 117: U.S. Commerce Department bans technology export to Fujian Jinhua