Trump’s trade war hits Beijing ‘harder than expected’ as China’s factory growth drops to two-year low…(Trade Wars Lead To Shooting Wars!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
By Paul Martin

China’s economy has weakened faster than expected amid escalating trade war
October is the first full month after the latest US tariffs went into effect
Analysts warn the worst is yet to come next year when trade row is in full force

31 October 2018

China’s economy has weakened faster than expected amid an escalating trade war with the United States, with analysts warning ‘the worse is yet to come’.

The latest numbers show that China’s manufacturing sector had barely expanded in October and missed expectations, as both domestic and external demand ebbed.

Analysts believe business conditions will get worse before getting better, fuelling concerns about a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.

October is the first full month after the latest US tariffs went into effect. Washington and Beijing slapped additional tariffs on each other’s goods on September 24, and US President Donald Trump has threatened to hit China with more duties.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), released on Wednesday, fell to 50.2 in October, the lowest since July 2016 and down from 50.8 in September. The figure, released by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, is a closely-watched gauge of where manufacturing activity is heading.

Unlike GDP numbers, which are a snapshot of the past, the PMI, taking account of production, new orders, new export orders and inventory, is an indicator of where the economy is headed. A number above 50 shows expansion, while below 50 indicates a decline in the sector.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast the official gauge, which also gives global investors their first look at business conditions in China at the start of the last quarter of the year, would dip slightly to 50.6 for the month.

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