China slump squeezes workers, hammers consumer spending
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China slump squeezes workers, hammers consumer spending

BEIJING — China’s slowing economy is squeezing the urban workers and entrepreneurs the ruling Communist Party is counting on to help transform this country from a low-wage factory floor into a prosperous consumer market.

Headline economic numbers still look healthy. Growth in 2019 is forecast at more than 6 per cent, down only slightly from about 6.5 per cent last year. But it is propped up by higher government spending, which masks sharp declines in other areas. Those are spooking the public and discouraging spending, which could make the downturn worse.

A tariff war with Washington over Beijing’s technology ambitions is adding to anxiety over job losses and tumbling sales of cars, real estate and consumer goods that are hitting China’s trading partners and global companies that increasingly count on Chinese consumers.

The Associated Press

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