China’s economic growth cooled marginally in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as projected, weighed down by weak investment and wavering consumer confidence as Washington heaped on trade pressure, leaving 2018 growth the weakest in 28 years. In the three months to December, the economy grew 6.4% from a year earlier, down from 6.5% in the previous quarter. For the full year China expanded at 6.6%, its slowest rate since 1990. Chinese growth has lost momentum following government efforts to try to rein in high levels of debt. It has also started feeling the effects of the trade war with the United States, which has resulted in new tariffs on more than $250 billion of Chinese exports.
China’s rate of expansion has elevated worries about the potential knock-on effect on the worldwide economy. The trade war with the U.S. has added to the gloomy outlook. The official figures out Monday showed the limpest quarterly growth rate since the global financial crisis. China’s economy has been decelerating partly due to President Xi Jinping’s initiative of the past three years to contain debt and fend off financial risks. That campaign has curbed borrowing by local governments and businesses and caused a sharp fall in spending on new subway lines and factories. Beijing started reversing course on the debt-control effort in recent months, though the easing measures taken so far have failed to rejuvenate fixed-asset investment, which grew 5.9% last year, a sharp drop from 7.2% in 2017.
Weakening activity and signs of rising unemployment underline a pressing need for more economic support measures as Beijing wrestles with the United States over trade. Chinese policymakers have pledged more support this year to reduce the risk of a sharper slowdown, but they have ruled out a “flood” of stimulus like Beijing has unleashed in the past, which quickly juiced growth rates but left a mountain of debt. Chinese officials are emphasizing that the economy remains broadly stable. Ning Jizhe, head of China’s statistics bureau, said at a news conference Monday that the trade war had weighed on the economy but that “the impact is still under our control.” Global conditions this year will “be more complicated and severe,” he added, but China’s economy “will move forward with stability.”
Emma Minoff has over a decade of experience in a range of industries and domains. She has previously served as the assistant managing editor at his previous company, before joining this publication as an Editor-in-Chief. She brings great vision to the nexus of content and the social, digital, video and pragmatic network. She lives in the California and can be found outdoors when not testing gadgets. Emma pursued her port-graduation from the Stanford University. [email@example.com]