Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, including new GDP figures from Europe’s largest economy
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- Minister: It’s a ray of hope
- Germany shrunk in Q3 2018, flat in Q4
Weak economic data from China overnight is fuelling concerns that its economy is suffering from the trade war with the US.
Chinese retail sales growth fell to 7.2% year-on-year in April — the weakest annual reading since 2003. That suggests consumers are cutting back — either because they’re worried about economic conditions, or because they’ve simply got less disposable income.
There is no sugar coating these numbers, they are dreadful and show that the March rebound was probably a flash in the pan, or a symptom of a distortion caused by Chinese New Year.
This sharp slowdown increases the likelihood that we will probably see further attempts by China to help stimulate its economy, as well as raising concerns that any hopes of a Chinese economic rebound helping to prompt a global pickup in economic activity look a little bit forlorn at this point in time.
Over in Beijing, China has hit out at America over its treatment of companies such as Huawei.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has accused the US of using its national power to dishonourably “smear” Chinese companies.