China's third quarter GDP growth slowest in 9 years

20 October, 2018, 08:11 | Author: Regina Silva
  • A worker walks by a container ship docked at a port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province

But in more positive financial news for China, the nation is still on track to meet an official growth target this year of around 6.5 percent.

It's down from 6.8 per cent and 6.7 per cent in the first and second quarters, respectively.

China's economy grew at its slowest pace in nine years in the third quarter, as a campaign to tackle mounting debt and trade frictions with the USA had an effect.

Retail sales, a window into Beijing's aim to get consumers spending to drive the economy, expanded 9.2 percent for the month compared with past year, from 9.0 percent in August and ahead of estimates.

After another big decline in Chinese stocks on Thursday, policymakers sought to soothe markets, with central bank governor Yi Gang saying the recent stock market fluctuations are largely driven by investor sentiment and equity valuations are not in line with economic fundamentals.

Second quarter sequential growth was also revised down from the previously reported 1.8 percent.

The data Friday showed fixed-asset investment ticked up 5.4 percent year-on-year in the January-September period from record lows the year earlier when Beijing was reining in spending on bridges, railways, and highways.

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But following the data, some say growth could slow even more dramatically next year.

Economists expect China's full-year growth to come in at 6.6 percent this year, which would meet the government's forecast of 6.5 percent.

Relations between the world's two largest economies have soured sharply this year, as US President Donald Trump turned to hiking tariffs to force concessions in trade negotiations with Beijing.

Authorities are also likely to start once again pumping money into infrastructure projects, after slowing down the projects previous year as a matter of financial prudence.

Besides the trade war, China's spiralling local government debt remained a major concern of its slowing down economy as it has risen to United States dollars 2.58 trillion according to recent figures released by the Ministry of Finance here.

The economy has expanded in a reasonable range and maintained a trend of overall stability and steady progress, China's statistical authority said, while acknowledging that the country faces more external challenges and rising downward pressure.

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