China Reports Slower Economic Growth In Wake Of U.S. Tariffs

U.S. tariffs appear to be having an impact on China’s economy.

The Chinese government reported that its economic growth slowed to its lowest level in a decade in the latest quarter, due in large part to the tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on imports of Chinese good to America.

The world's second-largest economy grew 6.2% over a year ago in the three months ending in June, down from the previous quarter's 6.4%, government data showed. That was the lowest level of growth since the first quarter of 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Chinese leaders have stepped up spending and bank lending to shore up growth and avert politically dangerous job losses. But they face an avalanche of unexpectedly bad news including plunging auto sales as they fight with Trump over Beijing's technology ambitions.

Weaker growth in China’s economy could have a global impact. The country of more than 1.3 billion people is the biggest export customer for its Asian neighbours and a major market for global suppliers of food, mobile phones, industrial technology and consumer goods.

Growth in retail sales slowed to 8.4% in the first half of 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from the first quarter, the government reported. Growth in factory output decelerated to 6% in the first half of the year, down 0.1 percentage points from the first quarter.

Auto sales fell 7.8% in June, extending a yearlong contraction in the industry's biggest market. Chinese auto exports to the United States fell 7.8% in June from a year due to Trump's tariffs.

The fight between Beijing and Washington, the two biggest global traders, has disrupted sales of goods from soybeans to medical equipment, battering exporters in both countries and rattling global financial markets.