Of course, we can’t trust China’s official GDP statistics. Government economists cook the books so that China’s growth stays within the goals set by the country’s leaders every year.
But investors should pay attention to the trend. And this quarter the trend is decidedly negative.
In data released today, those government statisticians reported that in the second quarter China’s economy slowed to the weakest pace since quarterly data began in 1992. Gross domestic product climbed 6.2% in the April-June quarter from the same period in 2018. That 6.2% rate was down from the 6.4% growth reported in the first quarter.
At 6.2% GDP growth is still slightly ahead of the 6% to 6.5% target that the government set in March.
But not all is grim. The economy looked to be stabilizing in June as stimulus measures including 2 trillion yuan ($291 billion) in tax cuts worked their way into the economy. For example, in June, factory output and retail sales growth beat estimates.