China's industrial output grew 6.3% in June from a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, picking up from May's 17-year low and handily beating market expectations.
The slowdown underlines the pressure that Chinese policy makers face as they attempt to negotiate a deal with the US on trade, while the economy takes another step down in the long-term deceleration from the heady expansion of the mid-2000s.
China's economy in the third quarter may face more downward pressure, said Larry Hu, head of China economics at Macquarie Securities Ltd.in Hong Kong. "Combined with increasing headwinds from United States tariffs and weaker global growth, we expect this to culminate in a further slowdown in economic growth over the coming year".
Asian shares started the week on a softer note on Monday after posting their first weekly decline since early June, while the dollar was on the defensive ahead of key economic data from China.
China's economy slowed to the weakest pace since quarterly data began in 1992 amid the ongoing trade standoff with the USA, while monthly indicators provided signs that a stabilisation is emerging.
"According to preliminary estimates, in the first half of 2019, China's GDP growth year-on-year amounted to 45,09 trillion yuan [$6.6 trillion], year-on-year growth [stood] at 6.3 percent", the statement read.
The growth was in line with the government's annual target of 6-6.5 percent set for 2019.
China has already slashed RRR six times since early 2018 to free up more funds for lending, and analysts polled by Reuters forecast two more cuts by the end of this year.
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Analysts said the 6.2% annual rate of growth reported for April-June suggests the trade war between the us and China is hammering industries.
Industrial output rose 6.3% in June, from 5.0% in May, which was the slowest increase since 2002.
Real estate investment, a major growth driver, also quickened in June, rising 10.1% on-year, Reuters calculated.
Other economic indicators, however, surpassed market expectations.
Government-driven infrastructure investment rose 4.1% year-on-year in the first half of this year, up from 4% growth in the first five months, the data showed. While the two sides have since agreed to resume trade talks and hold off on further punitive action, they remain at odds over significant issues needed for an agreement.
Meanwhile, extreme weather and highly contagious African swine fever have sent food prices skyrocketing, especially for meat, with the size of the world's largest pig herd down 15 percent in the first half of the year.
Retail sales, which include spending by governments, businesses and households, grew 9.8% (link in Chinese) year-on-year in June, up significantly from 8.6% growth in the month before.
China on Friday said it would impose sanctions on USA companies involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2 billion to self-ruled Taiwan.