China’s Economy Stuck in “Low Gear”

China’s economy remained stuck in “low gear” this quarter, with struggling retail and residential real-estate industries countering improvements in manufacturing and transportation, a private survey showed.

Growth in investment slowed further, borrowing costs rose and the share of firms applying for and getting bank loans remained at “rock bottom levels,” according to the China Beige Book, a report published quarterly by New York-based China Beige Book International. In contrast, hiring picked up and corporate profit margins improved, suggesting widespread government efforts to reignite growth are unlikely, it said.

“The absence of deteriorating conditions for most firms, both in terms of hiring and margins, does much to explain Beijing’s reluctance to introduce more large-scale stimulus,” Leland Miller, China Beige Book International president, said in a statement with Craig Charney, research and polling director.


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