Economy

China's 2018 economic growth sinks to 3-decade low

China's 2018 economic growth sinks to 3-decade low

While in line with analyst expectations, it was slower than the 6.8 per cent posted the year prior, according to official data. Combined with reports from Apple, American car-makers, and other US companies that China sales are falling below expectations, this would seem to point to a decision by China's consumers to avoid USA products.

China is still and will long remain in an important period of strategic opportunity for development, and its fundamentals of long-term sound development do not and will not change, Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, said at a press conference.

"Things are going very well with China and with trade", he told reporters at the White House.

The world's second-largest economy grew 6.4% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, levels last seen in early 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.

Growth slowed to 6.6 percent from 2017's 6.9 percent as both the world's appetite for China's exports and domestic consumer spending weakened, official data showed Monday. But the slowdown has been sharper than expected, prompting Beijing to boost spending on construction of roads and bridges and to order banks to lend more, especially to the entrepreneurs who generate most of China's new jobs and wealth.

On Friday, January 18, China revised its 2017 economic growth down to 6.8% from 6.9% - a move some analysts say may have been aimed at beefing up this year's growth rate.

"For the world´s second-largest economy, where trade accounts for one-third of GDP, this has an impact", he said, adding "downward pressure" on the economy has increased.

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"The NBS is part of the government. that is why it is legitimate for the outside world to worry about potential adjustment of data on the economy", said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics.

Fixed-asset investment growth was 5.9 percent last year, 0.5 percentage point higher than the first three quarters of the year.

Exports held up through most of 2018 despite President Donald Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese imports in a fight over Beijing's technology ambitions. The downturn deepened in the final months of 2018, suggesting the Trump administration's imposition of tariffs on Chinese goods is having an effect.

Relations with top trading partner the United States deteriorated sharply a year ago after President Donald Trump hit roughly half of Chinese imports with new tariffs in an attempt to force trade concessions. Economists had predicted output to fall to a 5.3 percent rate of growth.

The pace marked the fastest among the world's top five economies, noted Ning, adding that China contributed to almost 30 percent of the world's economic growth and remained the largest contributor to global growth.

Many outside experts are skeptical of China's reports of its economic performance.