China Growth Slows to 6.5%; Finance Officials Try to Soothe Worried Investors

China posts slower growth as economy feels impact of trade war

Analysts had expected growth of 1.6 percent on a quarterly basis.

China's economy is growing at its slowest rate since the global financial crisis as attempts to tackle rising debt and a trade war with the United States begin to bite. However, growth could well decelerate further as the effect of US tariffs on Chinese exports take full effect, let alone if the US adds new sanctions, as US President Donald Trump has threatened.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the economy to expand 6.6 percent in the July-September quarter.

It said the pace was in line with market expectations and higher than the government's annual growth target of around 6.5 percent.

"The economy has grown within a reasonable range in the first three quarters of the year", the statistics bureau said in a press statement.

The service sector gained 7.7 percent year-on-year in the January-September period, picking up from a 7.6-percent increase in the first half, and outpacing 3.4 percent in primary industry and 5.8 percent in secondary industry.

Growth in retail spending and investment slowed, though to still-robust rates.

As a result, China's trade surplus with the United States rose to a record US$34.1 billion in September.

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China's securities regulator unveiled a series of measures to aid the country's struggling stock market, which had been on a downward trajectory all year.

Greater China markets made a strong comeback on Friday afternoon, following a series of measures announced by Chinese leaders to support the struggling stock market.

"Overall, current stock market valuations are at historically low levels, which is in contrast with China's stable and improving economic fundamentals". "I believe that investors will make a rational judgment", Liu was quoted as saying by Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. It said it would encourage funds to help ease liquidity difficulties at listed companies, and would support share buy-backs.

Retail sales in China have remained at relatively the same rates since previous year, NBS said.

Chinese authorities are trying to navigate through numerous challenges, as the trade war fears have sparked a blistering selloff in domestic stock markets and a steep decline in the value of the yuan versus the dollar, heightening worries about the growth outlook.

"We expect monetary policy to remain "prudent" and fiscal policy to remain "more proactive", the note said.



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