Slowdown in Chinese Manufacturing Deepens Fears for Economy

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Factory activity cools for fifth month running as overseas demand for Chinese goods continues to fall

A further slowdown in China’s vast manufacturing sector has intensified worries about the year ahead for the world’s second largest economy.

“Against the backdrop of a faltering global economy, turmoil in the country’s stock markets and overcapacity in factories, Chinese economic growth has slowed markedly. The country’s central bank expects growth in 2015 to be the slowest for a quarter of a century.”

The latest in a string of downbeat reports from showed that activity at China’s factor ies cooled in December for the fifth month running, as overseas demand for Chinese goods continued to fall.

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Against the backdrop of a faltering global economy, turmoil in the country’s stock markets and overcapacity in factories, Chinese economic growth has slowed markedly. The country’s central bank expects growth in 2015 to be NON-STOP-PANIC-EXthe slowest for a quarter of a century.

After growing 7.3% in 2014, the economy is thought to have expanded by 6.9% in 2015 and the central bank has forecast that it may slow further in 2016 to 6.8%.

A series of interventions by policymakers, including interest rate cuts, have done little to revive growth and in some cases served only to heighten concern about China’s challenges.

Friday’s figures showed that the manufacturing sector limped to the end of 2015. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) of manufacturing activity edged up to 49.7 in December from 49.6 in November.

The December reading matched the forecast in a Reuters poll of economists and marked the fifth consecutive month that the index was below 50, the point that separates expansion from contraction. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! Socialism in France as Unpopular as ‘Progressivism’ is in U.S.: Hollande Approval Ratings Freeze Over in Midterm French Poll

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Half-way into his five-year mandate the popularity of French President Francois Hollande hit a new low on Thursday, hours before the Socialist leader addresses the nation to defend his shaky record on the economy.

“The absence of a clear vision and lack of coherence in economic policies is weighing on confidence and therefore investment and economic activity.” 

— CEO Jean-Paul Chifflet

In the worst score for a president in modern-day polling, Hollande received a 12 percent approval rating in the monthly survey by pollster YouGov, down 15 percent from the prior month. Other recent polls have put his popularity at 13 percent.

[Also see: François Hollande a Lying Socialist who ‘Doesn’t Like the Poor,’ says Ex-Girlfriend]

Earlier the chief executive of France’s third-largest bank, Credit Agricole, slammed Hollande’s government for its uncertain efforts to kickstart the eurozone’s second largest economy. Read the rest of this entry »