China has been hit by a double whammy "at home and abroad" as GDP growth in the third quarter slowed to 6%, the lowest rate in almost three decades. It's believed to be China's slowest GDP gain in at least 27½ years. "Beijing's approach has been rather measured and targeted, and they will continue to be so".
September's industrial production was also in line with recent business surveys that noted new domestic orders in food processing, textiles and electrical machinery, although growth in other products such as cement, crude steel and cars slowed further.
In its latest measure to shore up growth, the central bank said Wednesday it was pumping 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) into the financial system through its medium-term lending facility to banks, which is created to maintain liquidity in the market.
But the efforts have not been enough to offset the blow from softening demand at home, which highlights the struggle leaders have in their drive to recalibrate the economy from one driven by exports and investment to one built on consumer spending.
As the Sino-U.S. trade war got underway in March 2018, China Premier Li Keqiang announced that the Chinese government would cut annual income taxes by 800 billion yuan ($126 billion) "to help transform and upgrade the economy, as well as "activate the market and boost people's creativity".
The figures are the latest to indicate a softening in the economy.
Despite the downbeat overall picture, the economy still saw some bright spots in the September data, with retail sales up 7.8% from a year ago, industrial output rising 5.8%, while fixed asset investment increased 5.4% from January to September.
But Port of LA container traffic fell by 2.9 percent in September to 402,320 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), its first decline in 2019. Imports contracted for the fifth month in a row.
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Manufacturing output rose 5.9 percent year on year, and output growth of the mining sector rose 4.6 percent.
"Pressure on economic activity should intensify in the coming months", said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.
Markets are more focused (and more upbeat, subsequently) on how global economic slowdowns will drive stimulus actions by central bankers and governments (especially in China), according to experts. Imports of American goods sank 15.7 percent.
But there have been some signs of progress toward resolving the trade battle, with the USA and China reaching a "phase one deal" earlier this month.
"And we think that a [substantial] US-China trade deal remains unlikely any time soon [despite a planned phase-one agreement]", he added.
US President Donald Trump said that intellectual property, financial services and agricultural purchases are included in the agreement.
Trump had said Wednesday that he hopes to sign the deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the APEC summit in Chile next month.