China's GDP growth slows to 27-year low

China's GDP growth slows to 27-year low

China's GDP growth slows to 27-year low

China's economy expanded at its slowest rate in almost three decades in the third quarter, hit by cooling domestic demand and a protracted United States trade war, official data showed Friday. In fact, the US-China trade war is into a hotter round as the US has in place an additional tariff of 15 percent on about 3,200 imported Chinese goods worth US$110 billion as of September. It was the weakest level since China started reporting data by quarters in 1993. Chinese leaders have boosted government spending but avoided large-scale stimulus that might add to debt that already is so high that rating agencies cut Beijing's credit rating.

The initial burst of enthusiasm faded after Beijing failed to confirm the scale of possible purchases and officials said the two sides still were working out details.

According to recent market data in the last quarter, Beijing saw its growth sink by 6%.

The economy grew at 6.6 percent in 2018. Chinese trade has suffered from U.S. tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing's trade surplus and technology plans.

Retail sales growth fell to 8.2% over a year earlier in January-September, down from 8.4% in the first half, the National Bureau of Statistics reported. But the efforts have not been enough to offset the blow from softening demand at home. Those plans call for maintaining exports that support millions of jobs.

Figures last week showed activity in the crucial manufacturing sector continued to contract last month as a result of the trade spat.

But fixed-asset investment slid to 5.4 percent on-year in January-September, from 5.5 percent in January-August, as the government warned against risky borrowing to build roads and bridges that could artificially pump up GDP in the short run.

China has been a key prop to world growth for the past 20 years.

Beijing is struggling to cool consumer inflation that has spiked due to an outbreak of African swine fever that has disrupted supplies of pork, China's staple meat.

Global pork prices have risen as Chinese importers buy up supplies from as far away as Europe. Beijing has increased imports, released pork from stockpiles and promised aid to farmers.

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