Heavy industry in China has declined at a quicker clip this year than other sectors of the economy as imports of iron ore, oil, rubber and other materials fell sharply in January, with steel prices falling 12% in the year’s first five weeks and the global market for bulk freighter charters in free fall, The New York Times reported, citing official figures, market data and economists. The slowdown appears less intense in other sectors, but developments are partially obscured by data limitations resulting from the National Bureau of Statistics practice of not releasing many economic indicators for January until after the Lunar New Year ends in mid-March.
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