China may report the slowest growth in its industrial production growth in nearly two years this week, Bloomberg reported. Chen Deming, the country’s commerce ministry, said outbound shipments grew by 7% in January and February combined, which would imply export growth of 18.7% – below most analysts’ forecast of 29%. Economists estimate that Chinese banks extended RMB750 billion (US$119 billion) of new loans in February, up slightly from January’s smallest credit expansion in five years. “February data will be mixed, with downside risks due to the holiday distortion and the drag of property curbs,” said Zhi Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan Chase. The slowdown is hitting commodity providers particularly hard: Gu Jianguo, chairman of Maanshan Iron & Steel, said Wednesday that steel output will probably be flat this year, down from 9% growth last year.