China's economic slowdown continues in December for 7 straight months

  Jan.4--CHINA's growth slowed for a seventh month in December as the trade war, slower domestic demand and weakening factory output hit the economy, according to the Bloomberg Economics gauge that weighs early indicators.

  Data also suggests the government's stimulus approach and the trade war truce with the US have yet to effect on China's more settled economic statistics, but early returns show slower growth, said David Qu, economist at Bloomberg Economics.

  "Recent fluctuation in the commodity market may further undermine manufacturing sector profitability," and we will be looking closely at what the government does to stabilise the economy in early 2019, he said.

  Business confidence among small and medium-sized enterprises, says a Standard Chartered index was unchanged at 54.7 in December, but the outlook was bleak as downward pressures continue to mount, according to Shen Lan, the Beijing-based economist in charge of the bank's survey.

  "Export demand weakened while domestic demand remained sluggish for SMEs in December," she said in a December 24 report. The acceleration in production was driven mainly by the non-manufacturing and hi-tech industries, while manufacturing slowed further.

  "Credit conditions generally improved in the fourth quarter, although they did not show further improvement in December," Ms Shen said.

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