China moves to lift confidence as Q3 growth hits nine-year low

BEIJING: China’s economic growth cooled to its weakest quarterly pace since the global financial crisis, with regulators moving quickly to calm nervous investors as a years-long campaign to tackle debt risks and the trade war with the United States began to bite.
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.
The economy grew 6.5 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, slower than 6.7 per cent in the second quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the economy to expand 6.6 per cent in the July-September quarter.
The GDP reading was the weakest year-on-year quarterly growth since the first quarter of 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
On a quarterly basis, growth slowed down to 1.6 per cent from a revised 1.7 per cent in the second quarter, meeting expectations.
Importantly, second quarter sequential growth was revised down from the previously reported 1.8 per cent, suggesting the economy carried over less momentum into the second half than many analysts had expected.
After another big decline in Chinese stocks on Thursday, policymakers launched a coordinated attempt to soothe markets, with central bank governor Yi Gang saying equity valuations are not in line with economic fundamentals.
The Shanghai Composite index, which slumped more than 1 per cent in early Friday trading, rallied strongly in afternoon trading to end the day with a 2.6 per cent gain.
Third quarter growth was hurt by the weakest factory output since February 2016 in September as automobile makers cut production by over 10 per cent amid a sales slowdown. — Reuters