Disappointing figures show slow growth in China

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Industrial production and retail sales in China fell well below expectations in July, economic data revealed on Thursday.

Industrial output, which is key to deciphering how healthy China’s manufacturing section is, grew by 9.2% in the past year, falling short of the 9.8% expected by analysts polled by Reuters. The statistics also showed a clear reduction from the 9.5% growth seen in June this year.

Despite forecasts by economists, who predicted that retail sales would remain at the 13.7% level recorded in June, the figure fell to 13.1% in July.

Investments in fixed assets also failed to pick up, expanding 20.4% in the first seven months of this year – which is roughly the same figure that was recorded in the January-June period. A marked pickup in fixed assets – items such as equipment and property that are expected to be held for long periods of time and are not easily turned into cash – could have helped to lift the overall economy.

The weak overseas demand for its exports and the continuing effect of Beijing’s attempts to fight inflation last year has meant that the Chinese economy has been struggling for months.

Many of these measures have been effectively reversed by authorities this year, leading to hopes that the economy may begin to recover. However, the flagging growth in various sectors has left many disappointed.

This follows the news that China’s largest developer is ready to expand overseas.

Transferring money to China

Those who need to transfer money to China might want to review their options and find the best way to send money abroad.

If you are looking to invest in China, think carefully about how you will be send money there. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are sending money to China – which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a property investment, be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency.

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