Dragon slows down as China's GDP records snail-like growth since March 1992

Beijing: China's gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 6 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, the lowest rate since March 1992 when official records for quarterly growth started being published, the country's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Friday.

Growth slowed down from the 6.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent posted in the first two quarters of the year, reports Efe news. The figures have confirmed that China's economy, despite still growing at a high rate, is in the process of slowing down owing to the effects of the trade war with the US and other factors such as a lower domestic demand due to measures to reduce debt.

During the first three quarters of 2019, China's GDP posted a growth of 6.2 per cent with respect to the same period of the previous year to stand at 69.78 trillion yuan ($9.86 trillion).

Although the data is in line with the government's annual GDP target of 6-6.5 percent for 2019, it is still lower than the 6.5 percent growth the economy recorded in the first three quarters of last year. Industrial production also increased by 5.6 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2019, 0.8 percent lower than in the same period of the previous year.

The NBS also released other economic data on Friday, including retail sales, which rose 8.2 per cent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2019, a significant decline from the 9.3-per cent growth recorded in the first three quarters of 2018. Investment in fixed assets increased 5.4 percent year-on-year between January and September, unchanged from that registered during the same period last year.

Investment in the real estate sector increased 10.5 per cent between January and September, more than the 9.9 per cent recorded in the first nine months of 2018. Earlier this week, the NBS released data on the country's consumer price index, the most widely-used measure of inflation, which grew 3 per cent year-on-year, as well as on China's foreign trade, which increased 2.8 per cent inter-annually in the first three quarters of 2019

Friday's figures come after the International Monetary Fund earlier this week had trimmed its 2019 growth forecast for China to 6.1 per cent from 6.2 per cent due to the long-running trade dispute and slowing domestic demand, the BBC reported. But there have been some signs of progress toward resolving the trade battle, with the US and China reaching a "phase one deal" earlier this month.