China’s Statistics Bureau earlier today released figures showing that the world’s second-biggest economy had the weakest rate of growth in 27 years (which was when the data began). The second-quarter GDP figures showed the economy slowed to 6.2% from a year ago, although in line with market expectations, show the toll the trade war with the US is having on the economy. The figures will add to the pressure that the Chinese authorities are under as they try to negotiate a deal with the US. One particularly worrying element of the slowing GDP comes from reports that a large portion of the growth in the quarter may have taken place in April and early May. At that point, because of the tax cut in March, public confidence was higher, along with infrastructure spending as spring began. The trade talks with Trump collapsed on the 10th May, which damaged consumer confidence and the economy.
In a news conference a spokesman for China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Mao Shengyong, acknowledged that conditions are becoming increasingly more difficult. He is quoted as saying ‘Economic conditions are still severe both at home and abroad, the global economic growth is slowing down, the external instabilities and uncertainties are increasing, the unbalanced and inadequate development at home is still acute, and the economy is under new downward pressure’.
Not that it seems the leader of the free world has any such worries. In a series of three tweets attacking, well everyone, but singling out Mexico and China, he states ‘When you are the big ‘piggy bank’ that other countries have been ripping off for years (to a level that is not to be believed), tariffs are a great negotiating tool, a great revenue producer and, most importantly, a powerful way to get companies to come to the USA and to get companies that have left us for other lands to COME BACK HOME. We stupidly lost 30% of our auto business to Mexico. If the Tariffs went on at the higher level, they would all come back, and fast. But very happy with the deal I made, if Mexico produces (which I think they will). Biggest part of deal with Mexico has not yet been revealed! China is similar, except they devalue currency & subsidize companies to lessen effect of 25% Tariffs. So far, little effect to consumers. Companies will relocate to U.S’.
Also, we could not finish without saying congratulations to the English cricket team for what might just be the greatest game of cricket in World Cup history. And of course, it now gives us English the bragging rights as we are the first country to win all 3 major World Cups.