China’s Industrial Output May Grow at Weakest Pace Since 1999

More bad news about the Chinese economy: Bloomberg predicts that the country’s industrial production — the total amount of industrial products and services — will have grown at its slowest rate in nine years:

China needs to prepare for a “worst case scenario” as a global economic slump deepens, Central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said Dec. 4. Exporters of toys, clothes and furniture are cutting production or closing down, triggering a surge in labor disputes and increasing the risk of social unrest in the world’s most populous nation.

“There will be more rate cuts and more fiscal easing,” said Ben Simpfendorfer, an economist with Royal Bank of Scotland Plc in Hong Kong.

Industrial-production growth would be the least since October 1999, excluding distortions caused in January and February each year by Lunar New Year holidays. The number is due Dec. 15.

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