Sunday, June 16, 2019
 
Columnist
Martin Hennecke

China's auto slump extends to a year
 
12/06/2019
 
<p>China&#39;s car sales declined for the 12th consecutive month, a historic slump that&#39;s left manufacturers reeling as trade tensions and economic worries weigh on consumer sentiment.</p><p>Retail sales of sedans, sport utility vehicles, minivans, and multipurpose vehicles fell 12.5 percent to 1.61 million units in May, the China Passenger Car Association said yesterday.</p><p>That follows a 16.6 percent decline in April and a 12 percent drop in March.</p><p>Meanwhile, the onshore yuan rose 194 basis points to 6.9138 against the US dollar, as China&#39;s central bank moved to shore up the yuan with a stronger-than-expected fixing and a planned bond sale in Hong Kong.</p><p>The People&#39;s Bank of China set its reference rate at 6.8930 per dollar yesterday, 0.2 percent higher than the average forecast of 6.9089.</p><p>The strong bias in the daily fix is the largest since Bloomberg started releasing the survey estimates in August 2017.</p><p>The benchmark US greenback gauge reached the highest in a month, recovering from a painful rout in May.</p><p>Elsewhere, the Chinese city of Enshi has moved to stabilize house prices amid a worrying property slump by urging developers to stop drastic price cuts, threatening punishing measures unless such &quot;wrong behaviors&quot; stopped.</p><p>Developers have slashed prices at some estate projects in Enshi, a small city with less than one million in the central province of Hubei, as many new projects further strained an already slowing market, according to a three-page document issued by the Enshi Real Estate Association to its members seen by Reuters on Tuesday. Enshi housing bureau confirmed the authenticity of the document.</p><p>In other news, China&#39;s domestic phone shipment rose 1.2 percent year-on-year to 38.29 million units in May, up 48 percent on a monthly basis, according to date from China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.</p>

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