Manufacturing unexpectedly contracted for the first time in nine months in August as orders shrank, a government survey showed Sept. 1.
China hasn’t failed to exceed the Communist Party’s annual growth target since the throes of the Asian financial crisis in 1998, and a miss of this year’s 7.5 percent goal may complicate a once-a-decade leadership handover. The outgoing generation of policy makers has held back on stimulus this year as it seeks to rein in a property-market boom and avoid a jump in bad debt.
“If there is no further policy response, it’s very likely that GDP growth will fall below the target and this administration will likely hand over a hard-landing economy to the next one,” said Liu Li-Gang, chief China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong. The central bank should “revert to cutting banks’ reserve requirements more aggressively to revitalize the economy. If we have a cut soon we could have good fourth-quarter growth.”