Briefing

China’s industrial output growth cools to 17-year low amid trade tensions

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Industrial output grew 5.0 per cent in May, compared to a year earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics released Friday, missing analysts’ expectations of 5.5 per cent and well below April’s 5.4 per cent. Hours after the weak data, China’s central bank announced 300 billion yuan (US$43 billion) in fresh support for smaller banks, though analysts from Nomura and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group expect more sweeping measures in coming months if the U.S.-Sino trade dispute intensifies. (South China Morning Post)

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Talking point: Despite a slew of support steps since last year, China’s economy is still struggling to get back on firmer footing. At a press conference in Beijing on Friday, Linghui Fu, National Bureau of Statistics spokesman, suggested that a month of volatile economic data is “normal,” and urged people to observe the economic situation using longer trends. Meanwhile, American shoppers ramped up their spending in May, providing critical fuel for the U.S. economy’s continued expansion. All of this comes ahead of a possible meeting between presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at a G20 summit in Japan later in June.