China is expected to report on Monday that economic growth cooled to its slowest in 28 years in 2018 amid weakening domestic demand and bruising us tariffs, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more support measures to avert a sharper slowdown.
The world's second-largest economy expanded by 6.6 per cent over a year earlier, down from 2017's 6.9 per cent, official data showed Monday.
Analysts at Standard Chartered point out that China's GDP growth moderated to 6.4% y/y in Q4-2018 from 6.5% in Q3 and 6.8% in H1, in line with market expectations, while full-year 2018 growth was 6.6%, versus 6.8% in 2017.
The slowing Chinese economy, and the increasing constrictions on government stimulus, come at a significant turning point in the world economy, with all major worldwide economic bodies warning of a global slowdown and increased risks in 2019.
Some economists and investors have said China's economy is far more anemic than the government's 6.6% rate of expansion for 2018.
"The development in hi-tech innovation that we see around there, are the places where we will see those eight million graduates that are produced every year in China being attracted to".
The official noted that trade and economic differences between China and the United States began to manifest themselves in the second quarter of a year ago, and the Chinese government took a number of measures to ensure the stability of employment, financial sector, foreign trade, foreign capital and investment.
President Trump has let China know that he is ready to conclude a trade deal that addresses USA concerns and just as prepared to continue levying tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States if such an agreement can not be reached.
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Beijing has also said it will pass other measures to stimulate growth, including cutting taxes and making it easier for banks to lend.
China added more than 17 million people to its population in 2016 and 2017 following the scrapping of the one-child policy, but the effect hasn't endured. Ning said manufacturing and services maintained rapid growth, citing surging sales in new energy vehicles, optical fibers and smart TVs. The government estimates China's population will peak at 1.442 billion in 2029 before beginning to decline the year after.
"For China's population, the biggest event in the first half of 21st century is the arrival of negative growth", a January report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said.
However, experts said China's main pressure comes from how to unleash the potential of its market via deepening economic reforms. The lackluster data raised hopes for more policy action. "It was a awful year, and it doesn't look like things are getting any better this year", Lu told reporters.
"The economy is going through a soft phase, with continued headwinds from slowing growth in credit, industrial profit and housing sales".
The country's economy also faces other challenges, including a debt pile at more than 300 percent of GDP and decreased public investment.
While analysts say the standoff has dented confidence - leaving the stock markets battered and the yuan weakened - they attribute most of the downturn to the government policies to tackle growing debt, financial risk and pollution.