China’s GDP Growth in 2018 Drops to Lowest Level Since 1990

© AFP 2023 / STRAn investor checks stock market prices at a securities firm in Fuyang, in eastern China's Anhui province
An investor checks stock market prices at a securities firm in Fuyang, in eastern China's Anhui province - Sputnik International
BEIJING (Sputnik) – China’s GDP growth slowed down in 2018 and dropped to its lowest level since 1990, amid weakening domestic demand and under pressure from economic and trade disputes with the United States.

According to preliminary data of country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s GDP in 2018 amounted to 90.03 trillion yuan (about $13.04 trillion), which is by 6.6 percent more than in the previous year.

A stock investor gestures as he checks share prices at a securities firm in Fuyang, east China's Anhui province - Sputnik International
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According to the official figures, the year-on-year GDP growth was 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018, 6.7 percent in the second, 6.5 percent in the third and 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

The Chinese economy, which has accounted for almost a third of the global growth in the past decade, has begun to slow down over the past few years, which is a matter of concern for experts. The Chinese authorities do not share their pessimism, calling it "new normal," which implies qualitative, intensive development, instead of rapid rate of growth.

Still Growth Leader

Commenting on the economic results of 2018, NBS Director Ning Jizhe stressed at the press conference that China was still the main contributor to the world’s economic growth.

"In 2018, the GDP grew by 6.6 percent, coinciding with the projected target of about 6.5 percent. These growth rates rank first among the five world’s largest economies. The contribution of the Chinese economy to the world’s economic growth approached 30 percent, China remains the main contributor to the world’s economic growth", Ning said.

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The official also noted that, despite the difficult international situation, the country’s economy had generally shown the steady growth, with the social and economic development objectives having been achieved.

"The economic growth was within reasonable limits", Ning stressed.

Under Pressure of Tariffs

The head of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics admitted that the trade and economic dispute with the United States did affect the country’s economy, but, according to the official, that impact could be controlled.

"If we look at that from the point of view of economic data, it is generally accepted that the fourth quarter, as a rule, is most influenced by the international situation. If we talk about the trade and economic frictions, they affect not only the economies of China and the United States, but also the entire global economy", he explained.

Jizhe added that trade and economic differences between China and the United States had started in the second quarter of last year, and the Chinese government had taken a number of measures to ensure the employment, financial, foreign trade and investment stability.

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China and the United States have been engaged in a trade war since US President Donald Trump announced in June that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs in a bid to fix the US-Chinese trade deficit. Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of trade tariffs.

The next stage of China-US economic and trade consultations will be held on January 30-31. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States to participate in the talks. The first round of the consultations between the countries was held at the level of deputy ministers in Beijing on January 7-9.

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According to analysts of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the growth of China’s GDP could slow to 6.3 percent in 2019, due to the world’s factors of instability. However, CASS’ analysts noted that even with this growth rate, China’s contribution to the development of the world economy would still remain one of the most significant as the "hard landing" of its economy was not expected.

The views and opinions expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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