Business

China’s growth at its weakest in nearly 30 years: Analysts

BEIJING : China's economic growth likely hovered at its weakest in nearly 30 years in the fourth quarter as demand at home and abroad remained sluggish. But there were some signs of improvement late in the year as trade tensions with the United States eased.

The world's second largest economy is expected to have grown 6 per cent in October- December from a year earlier, according to analysts polled by Reuters, unchanged from the previous quarter's pace. It was the slowest since 1992 - the earliest quarterly data on record.

Forecasts by 65 analysts polled by Reuters ranged from 5.8 per cent to 6.3 per cent for the fourth quarter.

On a quarterly basis, growth likely stayed at 1.5 per cent in October-December, also the same pace as in the preceding period, analysts said. The data will be released tomorrow.

Economic growth is expected to cool from 6.6 per cent in 2018 to 6.1 per cent last year - the weakest in 29 years - and slow further to 5.9 per cent this year, a separate Reuters poll showed.

Head of the National Bureau of Statistics Ning Jizhe has said that China is expected to hit its annual growth target of 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent last year.

"But we need to look beyond the official headline numbers to the significant headwinds facing the economy," said chief economist at Enodo Economics Diana Choyleva. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE