Published: Fri, January 17, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

China's 2019 birthrate lowest in 70 years of communist rule

China's 2019 birthrate lowest in 70 years of communist rule

Economists see the growth target for 2020 being set at "about 6 per cent", signaling an acceptance of the long-term slowdown that the nation is on.

Analysts had expected it to expand 6.1%, down from 6.6% in 2018.

"External headwinds should ease further in the coming quarters thanks to the "Phase One" trade deal and a recovery in global growth".

Beijing's policymakers had projected growth of between 6% and 6.5% for the year.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast China's economy to have grown 6.0% in the October to December period of 2019.

China's economy weakened to its slowest pace in three decades in 2019 as weaker domestic demand amid a bruising trade war with the United States took their toll, official data showed on Friday (Jan 17).

The world's second-largest economy grew 6.1% in 2019, the slowest in 29 years but still within the government's target of 6-6.5%.

Facing growing risks and challenges at home and overseas, the overall performance of the national economy has been stable, the quality of development has been improving with major targets being met, laying a solid foundation for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Ning Jizhe, Director of the NBS said at a press conference.

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The market followed new highs set on Wall Street overnight following the end of the 18-month tariff war between China and the US that hampered global growth and financial markets.

"We should not seek solace in the slowdown in Chinese economic growth, given the domestic constraints as well as low visibility of a pickup in the investment cycle", said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA.

Chinese mothers gave birth to 14.65 million children previous year, a birth rate of 10.48 babies per 1,000 people, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.

The headline figure was in line with forecasts of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for China's economic growth this year, the Post report said.

Real estate investment rose 9.9% in 2019 from a year earlier, slowing slightly from a 10.2% gain in the first 11 months of the year.

That holiday is earlier this year than in 2019, and companies may have increased production in December ahead of a shutdown later this month.

Data earlier this week also showed that China's exports rose for the first time in five months in December, and its imports beat estimates.

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