China vows to meet 2018 targets despite trade fight


BEIJING • China is able to weather the escalating trade war with the US and achieve its economic targets for this year, an official at the nation’s top economic planning body said.

The impact on industrial production, employment and consumer prices will be “controllable” through proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy, Cong Liang, a spokesman for the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a briefing yesterday.

China’s economic growth slowed to 6.7%, the slowest pace since 2016, in the second quarter as Beijing’s campaign to cut debt began to bite. Still, it remains above the annual target of 6.5%.

Policymakers face a difficult balancing act in trying to tackle debt while supporting growth. Fixed-asset investment rose at the slowest pace in two decades during the first seven months of the year, data released on Tuesday showed, while infrastructure spending fell to a quarter of the pace seen a year earlier.

Factory output, retail sales and credit creation in July all missed estimates.

In the same month, newhome prices rose at the fastest pace in nearly two years, according to data released yesterday, complicating government efforts to restrain price gains without worsening the broader slowdown.

China’s exports to the European Union grew 11.3% in the first seven months of the year, while overseas shipments to South-East Asia rose 17.9%, according to customs data.