China: Signs of a gradual decelaration are building up

5 min
Mahamoud Islam
Mahamoud Islam Senior Economist for Asia

After broadly stable activity figures from January to April, signs of a deceleration have emerged. Firstly, nominal urban investment growth moderated to +6.1% y/y in January-May (from +7% in January-April) as capital expenditure expanded less in both the primary and tertiary sectors. The weaker performance was mainly driven by slower growth in public investment. Secondly, industrial production growth slowed to +6.8% y/y in May 2018 (from +7% in April). Thirdly, retail sales growth weakened to +8.5% y/y in May 2018 (from +9.4% in April). These figures indicate that economic growth in Q2 is heading for +6.6% to +6.7% (after +6.8% in Q1). Going forward, there is further room for deceleration due to a tightening of financing conditions and increased trade tensions with the U.S. Overall, we expect growth to decelerate to +6.6% in 2018 (from +6.9% in 2017).