Softening demand in China is being felt around the world, with slowing sales of goods from iPhones to automobiles, prompting warnings from the likes of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and from Jaguar Land Rover, which last week announced sweeping job cuts.
Data later this month is expected to show the Chinese economy grew around 6.6 percent in 2018 – the weakest since 1990. Analysts are forecasting a further loss of momentum this year before policy support steps begin to kick in.
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New orders — an indicator of future activity — fell for the first time in two and a half years, with companies reporting subdued demand despite some price discounting. New export orders shrank for the ninth month in a row.
Industrial profits fell 1.8 percent in November from a year earlier to 594.8 billion yuan ($86.33 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website on Thursday. It marked the first decline since December 2015.