China population growth continued to slow in 2018

23 January, 2019, 08:00 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • Delivery drivers have seen a fall in jobs

For the full year, the economy expanded 6.6 percent, the slowest pace since 1990, stoking expectations for additional stimulus from the government after a series of piecemeal measures ranging from tax cuts to steps to boost lending.

Yet the pace at which population growth has slowed has become a concern in recent years as the country's seemingly inexhaustible supply of ready labor has declined.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, GDP grew by 6.4%; in the previous quarter it had grown by 6.5%.

Slower growth in China means slower growth for the rest of the world.

China is still and will long remain in an important period of strategic opportunity for development, and its fundamentals of long-term sound development do not and will not change, Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, said at a press conference.

There are also many doubts about the consistency and veracity of Chinese statistics, given that the governments of many provinces tend to inflate results.

In a comment to the Financial Times earlier this month, Fred Hu, the former Greater China chairman for Goldman Sachs, said: "Domestic sentiment is definitely very bad, perhaps even worse than during the 2008 global financial crisis". The speech by Xiang Songzuo, which AsiaNews will publish in the next few hours, has been censored on the internet. However, we differ from consensus on what we expect from 2019, where we believe we will still see growth of 6.4 percent.

China's economy is closely watched internationally, as many global corporations consider it a key market in reaching their own growth targets. "Consumers are [already] feeling uncertain about next year, so they are going to pull back".

As the data was released, Chinese President Xi Jinping gathered the country's provincial governors and ministers in Beijing for a special session on how to manage "major risks", including ideological, political and economic risks.

This comes as a growing number of foreign companies are moving production away from China-some because of the trade war, while others for economic reasons. "Both the number of domestic trips and tourism revenue went up more than 10 percent, and the movie box office revenue topped 60 billion yuan, up almost 10 percent", Ning said.

Officially China played down the slowdown saying that the country achieved its goal of around 6.5 per cent GDP growth set for 2018.

Given the slowdown, China's policymakers are looking to improve domestic consumption as they look to shift from an export-led growth regime.

FAI rose by 5.9 percent year-on-year in 2018, 0.5 percentage points faster than that recorded in the first three quarters, NBS data showed.

"For the world´s second-largest economy, where trade accounts for one-third of GDP, this has an impact", he said, adding "downward pressure" on the economy has increased.

The slowing Chinese economy, and the increasing constrictions on government stimulus, come at a significant turning point in the world economy, with all major worldwide economic bodies warning of a global slowdown and increased risks in 2019. The population, which was 1.39 billion in 2017, could fall to 1.172 billion by 2065, it added.



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