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Chinese factories cool but Japan's pick up steam

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 01:48

Japan's factory output rebounded in June from a decline in May as production of cars and industrial chemicals increased, but growth in China's manufacturing sector cooled slightly in July. David Pollard reports.

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China may have other things on its mind than trade. As tensions grow with North Korea after its new missile launch. Donald Trump, though, appears to want to use one to put pressure on China over the other. A linkage China today said it doesn't accept .... (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE VICE COMMERCE MINISTER, QIAN KEMING, SAYING: "First off, we believe that the North Korea nuclear issue and China-U.S. trade are issues that are in two completely different domains. They aren't related. They cannot be discussed together." Domestically, there are signs of growing stresses in the economy. Economists bracing, they say, for it to soften - as official manufacturing numbers showed a cooling off in July. Construction was still strong. But exports also showed signs of going off the boil. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "Global trade is balanced on a bit of a knife edge depending on the the noise and reforms that have come out of the out of the Trump administration. And certainly within China domestic demand seems to be weakening a little bit as well. So while the GDP numbers are obviously still up towards 7 percent, certainly investors are expecting a downside bias." For Japan, there was a more positive shake-up in perceptions. Strong exports driving industrial output. A 1.6 per cent rise in June not only a sharp rebound from a plunge in May. But also points to overall acceleration in the economy. SOUNDBITE (English) CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "The economic news coming out of Japan is pretty good at the moment. I mean, the exporting picture has been helped, and the industrial production pictures been helped, by a weak yen, and also be a pick up in global demand." Last week, data revealed the biggest jump in household spending for almost two years, in a tighter labour market. Despite a surge in tensions abroad - consumers at home getting happier, it seems, to hit the shops.

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Chinese factories cool but Japan's pick up steam

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 01:48