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Global uncertainty dents China

SUBDUED factory and investment growth probably capped China's inflation in April and depressed producer prices for a 14th consecutive month, a Reuters poll showed, clouding the outlook for the Chinese economy.

Risks that China's factory and investment growth in April may miss even conservative forecasts are mounting after surveys of the country's manufacturing and services industries cooled unexpectedly last month.

A median forecast by 27 economists showed the annual consumer price index ran at 2.3pc in April, up from 2.1pc in March but comfortably below the central bank's 3pc forecast for 2013.

Producer price deflation is forecast at 2.3pc compared to a year ago, the deepest in six months.

Analysts from Barclays said China's struggling exports sector and its fragile domestic demand had added to the problem of under-used capacity, and dampened producer prices.

"The manufacturing sector will face continued pressures from the uncertain external outlook and the modest domestic recovery, and painful adjustments given over-investment and over-capacity," economists from Barclays said in a note.

China's factory output is expected to have grown 9.5pc in April from a year ago, recovering slightly from a seven-month low hit in March. (Reuters)

Irish Independent