Weak Demand Weighs on Industrial Growth

China’s industrial growth is facing downward pressure amid slowing domestic and international demand, a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology official said.

The lack of “efficient demand” and the unwillingness by companies to invest are among challenges to the industrial economy, Xiao Chunquan, a MIIT spokesman, said in Beijing yesterday. Profits at industrial companies are at “very low levels” because of falling product prices and surging costs, Xiao said.

“The appropriate” slowdown in industrial output growth is “normal after years of high-speed growth,” said Xiao. “It will help relieve pressure on resources and the environment.”

China’s industrial production rose 9.5% in the first quarter, below the government’s target of 10% growth this year, according to data collected by the National Bureau of Statistics. A preliminary reading of HSBC Holdings Plc’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for China showed manufacturing is growing at a slower pace this month, adding to concern the world’s second-biggest economy is faltering.

The outlook for Chinese exports also isn’t optimistic given the lack of external demand and trade protectionism, said Xiao, who is also director general of the ministry’s Bureau of Operation Monitoring and Coordination.

~ Shanghai Daily, April 24, 2013 ~

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