China records lowest quarterly economic growth in 27 years

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BEIJING – In the midst of a trade war with the United States and falling domestic demand, China registered a 6% GDP increase in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period of 2018.

That is the smallest number since Beijing began compiling the data in 1993, the Associated Press reports.

Quarterly economic growth was announced by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday. According to the Beijing agency, the number was lower than expected by analysts (6.1%) and the annual economic growth of 2019, compared to 2018, is at 6.2%.

The slowdown has global repercussions and is expected to dampen Chinese demand for industrial components from its Asian neighbors as well as soy and other foods from Brazil, Australia and other commodity suppliers.

Trade suffered from US tariff increases, but the biggest impact on Chinese growth appears to come from a slowdown in domestic activity, including consumer spending and investment.

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Retail sales growth fell to 8.2% from a year earlier in the first three quarters of 2019, down from 8.4% in the first half. Industrial production growth slowed to 5.6% from January to September, compared to 6% in the first six months of the year.

The prediction Beijing is to have a GDP growth between 6% and 6.5% in 2019.

After the last round of talks, China and the US were able to reach a substantial consensus on the first part of the trade agreement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news conference on Tuesday.

The latest round of trade talks between the US and China took place on last Thursday and Friday. The most important decision of the US Administration was to postpone the introduction of tariffs on Chinese imports to the US scheduled for October 15.

US President Donald Trump stated that the first part of the US agreement with China could be signed at the APEC Chile Summit.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the deals cover intellectual property, financial services and the purchase of $40-50 billion.

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