China records slowest growth rate since 1990

BEIJING (AA): China’s economy grew 6.6 percent in 2018, its slowest pace since 1990, amid trade tensions with the US, local media reported. “China’s GDP grew at 6.6 percent in 2018, above the 6.5 percent annual target set by officials at the beginning of the year,” the Global Times reported, citing official data released by Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent seen in the third quarter.

Washington has so far imposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. In retaliation, Beijing imposed tariffs on more than 80 percent of all US imports.

In December last year, the US and China agreed to a 90-day halt in their trade war to allow negotiations on a host of trade issues.

This came in the meeting of US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Argentinian capital.

“We have confidence that China’s economy will maintain a reasonable growth rate in 2019,” Ning Jizhe, head of the NBS, was quoted as saying by the Global Times.

He said that China’s confidence comes from the “massive consumption power” at home, with a middle class of more than 400 million, and new drives from tech and other innovative industries amid an economic upgrade.