A day after the Shanghai Composite Index plunged to a four-year low and Trump took new steps to escalate his trade war with Beijing, thirdquarter growth figures showed China's economy expanding at the weakest pace since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009.
China's real gross domestic product for the July-September period grew just 6.5 percent from the same period a year earlier. The per capita disposal income of the average Chinese has increased by 8.8% as compared to the same period a year ago, signifying a 6.6% increased when inflation is taken into consideration.
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.
Investment in fixed assets, which includes spending on property construction and infrastructure, rose 5.4 percent in the nine months of this year, 0.6 percentage point lower than the first six months.
The predicted third-quarter growth compared with 6.7 per cent rate in the previous quarter but would still be higher than the government's full-year target of around 6.5 per cent.
China should "deepen" its reform and opening-up policy, the bureau said, apparently seeking to draw a contrast with U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" stance promoting trade protectionism.
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China has reported its slowest quarterly growth rate since the global financial crisis.
Earlier this month, China's central bank chose to cut the amount of cash that large banks must hold as reserves, to prompt financial institutions to lend more money to companies and other entities to bolster consumption and domestic investment.
In the meantime, there are no signs that China and the US are getting close to an end to the trade conflict.
After another big decline in Chinese stocks on Thursday, policymakers launched a coordinated attempt to soothe markets, with central bank governor saying equity valuations are not in line with economic fundamentals. And Trump has said he's prepared to expand the tariffs to effectively cover all Chinese exports to the United States, which topped $500 billion a year ago. The growth rate over three months that ended in September is 6.5% compared to the same period a year ago, which although impressive by any other standards, is still disappointing for China. Beijing responded with its own tariff hikes on $110 billion of American imports but is running out of goods for retaliation due to their lopsided trade balance.
Earlier this week, Premier Li Keqiang has also mentioned his confidence in China's economic development, with targeted GDP to be met. "Governments at all levels will also take active measures to help enterprises and employees cope with possible difficulties". Unless loans are repaid or more collateral is added, the stocks can be liquidated by debtors, further weighing on already weak sentiment, the Post said.