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Economists expect China’s growth this year to be the weakest in decades. SINGAPORE—Economic activity in China contracted further in November, adding pressure to a global economy already losing momentum as the war in Ukraine drags on and central banks raise interest rates to combat high inflation. Gauges of activity in Chinese manufacturing, services and construction deteriorated by more than expected this month, a sign of weakening economic output as authorities persist in using widespread curbs on business and daily life to respond to Covid-19 outbreaks.
SINGAPORE—China’s central bank moved to backstop growth by boosting lending to households and businesses, as the world’s second-largest economy struggles with its biggest Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic began. Economists said the shift in policy will likely have limited impact, as repeated lockdowns, a continuing real estate crunch and fading demand for Chinese exports mean appetite for loans is weak.
SINGAPORE—China’s worst Covid-19 outbreak is squashing hopes for an economic rebound and fanning concern about disruption to the world’s supply chains, heaping more pressure on a global economy that is already losing speed as central banks ratchet up interest rates to beat back inflation. The record number of new cases and the authorities’ tough response have extinguished hopes that China was inching toward reopening. Those hopes were stoked earlier this month when the government published a 20-point plan to refine some virus controls, such as reducing quarantine periods and easing restrictions on close contacts of confirmed cases.
SINGAPORE—Widespread lockdowns imposed across China as authorities there struggled this week to contain the country’s largest Covid-19 outbreak threaten to again create uncertainty in global supply chains and dim the prospects for world economic growth. Beijing’s battle to contain the virus—including sharp restrictions on everyday life and commerce in cities from the major port city of Tianjin in the north to Guangzhou in the south—comes as economies elsewhere lose speed as central banks raise interest rates to beat back inflation.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia—Leaders of the Group of 20 countries unanimously endorsed a declaration saying the war in Ukraine is hurting the global economy, a message that showed Russia’s increasing isolation on the world stage as the costs of the conflict mount. G-20 representatives, including those from Russia and China, signed a statement that focused on the economic damage caused by the violence and called for an end to the fighting. The joint declaration marks a diplomatic victory for Western diplomats seeking to rally global opposition to Russia’s aggression.
NUSA DUA, Indonesia—After nine months of warfare, tens of thousands killed or wounded, and billions of dollars in lost economic output, it might not sound like a diplomatic breakthrough to describe the conflict in Ukraine as a war. But for leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and developing economies, meeting in Bali for a summit dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its economic fallout, such a declaration would represent exactly that.
‘My workload has recently increased quite a lot,’ Elon Musk said in a virtual appearance in Indonesia on Monday. NUSA DUA, Indonesia—Elon Musk said he has too much work to juggle since the billionaire added running Twitter Inc. to his tasks with the $44 billion takeover of the social-media platform. “My workload has recently increased quite a lot,” Mr. Musk said in a virtual appearance Monday at the B20 business conference in Indonesia, on the sidelines of a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and developing economies. “I have too much work on my plate, that is for sure.”
With the specter of recession looming over the global economy, reviving flagging growth will be near the top of the agenda at a summit for the leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and developing economies. The problem: Discord among G-20 members is a big reason for the slowdown.
SINGAPORE—Prices charged by Chinese companies at the factory gate recorded their first annual fall in almost two years, another downbeat signal for the global economy as bulging inventories and cautious consumers in the West hit overseas demand for Chinese-made goods. Chinese producer prices fell 1.3% in October compared with a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, the country’s first year-over-year decline in producer-price inflation since December 2020.
China’s Exports Drop Sharply as Global Economy Slows
  + stars: | 2022-11-07 | by ( Jason Douglas | )   time to read: 1 min
SINGAPORE—China’s exports to the rest of the world shrank unexpectedly in October, a big sign that global trade is in sharp retreat as consumers and businesses cut back spending in response to central banks’ aggressive moves to tame inflation. Exports from China declined 0.3% last month compared with a year earlier, China’s General Administration of Customs said Monday, the weakest pace of growth since May 2020, when trade was hobbled by countries’ early efforts to contain a worsening global pandemic. That was well below the expectations of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who had expected exports to increase 4% year over year.
It took Jacob Rothman two decades to build a Chinese manufacturing business with his friends and family. Now the 49-year-old American executive says customers want him to make some of his grilling tools and kitchen products elsewhere. Yet “there’s nothing like China,” he added. “We’ve built this supply chain for 30 years to work like a Swiss clock. There’s just nothing like it.”
SINGAPORE—China’s economy grew more strongly than expected in the third quarter as the country bounced back modestly from crippling Covid lockdowns in the spring, though challenges remain as leader Xi Jinping consolidates control of the political apparatus for another five years. China’s gross domestic product grew by 3.9% for the three months ended Sept. 30 from a year earlier, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Monday in a data release that was unexpectedly delayed as Communist Party leaders gathered for a key meeting in Beijing.
China’s Inflation Rises at Fastest Pace in Two Years
  + stars: | 2022-10-14 | by ( Jason Douglas | )   time to read: 1 min
SINGAPORE—Consumer prices in China rose in September at their fastest annual pace in more than two years, though inflation in the world’s second-largest economy remains mild compared with rates seen in Europe and the U.S. Annual inflation hit 2.8% in September, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Friday, driven by a sharp rise in prices of food, especially pork. That compared with a 2.5% annual rise in consumer prices in August, and marked the fastest rate of inflation since April 2020.
As Yuan Hits New Lows, China Responds With Restraint
  + stars: | 2022-09-29 | by ( Jason Douglas | )   time to read: 1 min
A chaotic depreciation of the yuan could unsettle households and businesses in China’s already struggling economy. SINGAPORE—Confronted by the relentless rise of the U.S. dollar, China’s central bank is seeking to slow, rather than halt its currency’s decline, highlighting the difficulties of rowing against the powerful currents in the global economy that are propelling the dollar higher. The strategy also reflects the awkward policy trade-off between managing the yuan’s value and supporting economic growth that is confronting officials in the world’s second-largest economy.
SINGAPORE—The World Bank said it expects developing economies in East Asia to grow faster than China this year for the first time since 1990, as the world’s second-largest economy struggles with a real-estate crunch and the government’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19. The Washington, D.C.-based lender cut its forecast for Chinese growth this year but said it expects growth among 22 neighboring economies to more than double in 2022 compared with the pace they notched last year, as countries benefit from dismantling most Covid-19 restrictions and a revival in tourism.
War, Inflation Knock World Economy Off Balance
  + stars: | 2022-09-23 | by ( Tom Fairless | Jason Douglas | )   time to read: 1 min
The global economy outside the U.S. is stuttering, knocked off course by soaring inflation, an energy crisis and now Russia’s nuclear war threats. Business surveys published on Friday indicate that economic activity in Europe declined sharply in September, raising the risk of recession in one of the world’s industrial powerhouses as governments grapple with surging prices and disruptions from Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
China installed almost as many robots in its factories last year as the rest of the world, accelerating a rush to automate and consolidate its manufacturing dominance even as its working-age population shrinks. Shipments of industrial robots to China in 2021 rose 45% compared with the previous year to more than 243,000, according to new data viewed by The Wall Street Journal from the International Federation of Robotics, a robotics industry trade group.
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