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Index sees China GDP slowing

(Shanghai Daily)

14:11, December 15, 2011

China's economy is heading toward a slowdown as falling demand for exports and weaker domestic consumption could shake the manufacturing industry as the country's economic pillar, according to a key index.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for China declined in October to 160.1 for the first time since the end of last year, off 0.1 percent from September, due to less optimism in the world's second largest economy for the next six months.

The indices for supplier deliveries, new export orders, and consumer expectations declined in October, offsetting the positive contributions from the other three components - loans, raw materials supply, and total floor space started.

"The risk of a more substantive slowdown in China's economic growth than anticipated so far is rising," Andrew Polk, economist at The Conference Board, said.

The LEI, taking its cue from the less-than rosy prospects of China's manufacturers, snapped September's 0.4 percent growth. China's purchasing managers' index shed 0.8 percentage point monthly in October to 50.4, and sank further to 49 in November, indicating a contraction in industrial activities.

The escalating European debt crisis is having a cooling effect on global markets while a possible hard landing for China's economy could further dampen domestic demand.

China's top leaders decided at a economic planning meeting in Beijing yesterday that the government in 2012 will adopt a proactive fiscal policy to sustain economic growth but a prudent monetary policy to tame inflation.

New yuan loans reached 562.2 billion yuan (US$ 88.6 billion) in November, 7.8 billion yuan higher compared with the same month last year but 24.6 billion yuan lower October's, the People's Bank of China said yesterday.

The central bank has cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks for the first time since 2008.

China's gross domestic product grew 9.1 percent in the third quarter, the least in two years, after the government raised interest rates, mopped up liquidity and tightened measures against property speculation.

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