China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth increased 6.5% in the third quarter (Q3), down 0.2% compared to the 6.7% the country posted in the previous quarter – representing the slowest level of economic growth it has seen since the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008.
The news comes at a time when the Chinese economy has come up against a myriad of macroeconomic headwinds, with growing trade tensions with the US and investor sentiment reflected in a declining stock market.
‘The gross domestic output (GDP) of China was ¥65.1 billion in the first three quarters of 2018, a year-on-year increase of 6.7 percent at comparable prices,’ according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics of China on Friday.
National Bureau of Statistics of China spokesperson Mao Shengyong at a briefing on Friday explained that despite the macroeconomic headwinds applying ‘downward pressure’ on the Chinese economy, growth remains strong, with the country firmly on track to hit its full-year economic growth target of 6.5%.
Chinese economic performance was a mixed bag, with industrial output, despite increasing 5.8% year-on-year falling shy of its 6% forecast, according to the statistics office. Meanwhile, retail sales performed well, increasing 9.2% in September, up 0.2% on forecasted levels.
The slowdown in economic growth and the stock market decline has forced the Chinese government to issue a statement in an attempt to provide investors with greater confidence and paint a brighter outlook for the economy over the final three months of the year.
In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, Vice Premier Liu He played down the economic pressures that the country is wrestling with.
‘All sorts of risk and problems accumulated in the past are now emerging, which is an inevitibale process and should be viewed rationally.’