China’s factory output, retail sales weaken amid tariff war

China’s factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified.

Wednesday’s data prompted suggestions Beijing will need to prop up economic growth with more government spending.

Government data showed growth in factory output decelerated to 5.4 percent over a year earlier from March’s 8.5 percent growth.

Growth in retail sales declined to 7.2 percent over a year ago from the previous month’s 8.7 percent.

Manufacturers have been battered by President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes on Chinese imports. The escalating dispute has fueled unease among Chinese consumers, depressing domestic demand.

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