China’s economy cooled in the fourth quarter under pressure from faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs, dragging 2018 growth to the lowest in nearly three decades and pressuring Beijing to roll out more stimulus to avert a sharper slowdown.
Fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) grew at the slowest pace since the global financial crisis, easing to 6.4 percent from 6.5 percent in the third quarter, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
That left full-year growth at 6.6 percent, the slowest rate of expansion China has seen since 1990. GDP in 2017 grew a revised 6.8 percent.
With support measures expected to take some time to kick in, most analysts believe conditions are likely to get worse before they get better and see a further slowing to 6.3 percent this year. Some China watchers believe actual growth is already weaker than official data suggest.