Data on sales and earnings are painting a bleak picture of the Chinese economy. The trend could have an impact on U.S. manufacturers. Austen Hufford and Patrick McGroarty report for The Wall Street Journal:
A growing number of industrial companies said their sales are softening in China, threatening a strong three-year run for U.S. manufacturers.
Makers of everything from bulldozers to computer chips have bet heavily on expanding their business in a country of 1.4 billion people with an increasing appetite for world-class consumer goods and infrastructure. U.S. exports to China doubled over the decade through 2017 to $130 billion a year, according to the Census Bureau.
Now that opportunity has become a potential liability for some companies as China’s economy slows to its lowest rate of growth since 1990.
“China is weaker than normal, weaker than seasonal,” Keith Jackson, chief executive of ON Semiconductor Corp. , said earlier this month.
Industrial bellwethers Caterpillar Inc. and 3MCo. , which both make about one-tenth of their sales in China, are set to report their latest earnings Monday and Tuesday. The companies said in October that they were concerned about China’s slowing economy, sparking a selloff in their shares and the broader U.S. industrials sector.
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