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Trade battle hits China's retail - but German economy rebounds

Credit: Reuters - Business (Amazon FireT
Published on May 15, 2019 - Duration: 01:54s

Trade battle hits China's retail - but German economy rebounds

Trade war clouds darken over China as retail sales growth falls to a 16-year low, according to new data, and industrial output slows.

But Germany's first-quarter GDP numbers are hailed as a 'first ray of hope' for showing an economy returning to expansion.

Pascale Davies reports.

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Trade battle hits China's retail - but German economy rebounds

In the Chinese President's first address since trade tensions with the U.S. spiked last week, Xi Jinping sent a message to the world.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE PRESIDENT, XI JINPING, SAYING: "Today's China is not only China's China.

It is Asia's China and the world's China." China open for business but new data raises questions over business in its retail sector.

China reported sales growth fell in April to a 16-year low, rising just 7.2% from a year earlier.

It suggests Chinese consumers were getting more worried about the economy, even before the U.S.'

Latest tariff hike on Chinese goods on Friday.

Growth in industrial output also slowed more than expected to 5.4% - in a sharp decline from March's 4-and-a-half year high.

Even if China appeared upbeat about that.

CHINA NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS SPOKESWOMAN, LIU AIHUA, SAYING: "We maintained steady economic performance and a status of steady economic growth." There was a glimmer of hope from Germany.

Its economy returned to growth in Q1 after narrowly avoiding recession in the final quarter of last year.

The government still warned the outlook is clouded by the trade disputes, especially as Donald Trump may also increase tariffs on European car imports this week.

The U.S. President downplayed the trade dispute with China on Tuesday as a quote "little squabble" and said talks were ongoing.

Markets, rattled by the prospect of full blown trade war, took some comfort from those words.

But a further threat remains to impose more tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Adding to pressure on China's leadership to roll out more stimulus measures as the trade battle intensifies.

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