BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s economic growth cooled slightly in the fourth quarter from a year earlier as expected, weighed down by weak investment and faltering consumer confidence as Washington piled on trade pressure, leaving 2018 growth the weakest in 28 years.
Signs of further cooling in China — which has generated nearly a third of global growth in recent years — are stoking worries about risks to the world economy and are weighing on profits for firms ranging from Apple to big carmakers.
Fourth-quarter - Product - GDP - Pace - Crisis
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 on Monday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected 6.4 percent.
That left full-year growth at 6.6 percent, the slowest rate of expansion China has seen since 1990. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected it to cool to 6.6 percent from a revised 6.8 percent in 2017.
Activity - Signs - Unemployment - Underline - Need
Weakening activity and signs of rising unemployment underline a pressing need for more economic support measures as Beijing wrestles with the United States over trade.
Chinese policymakers have pledged more support this year to reduce the risk of a sharper slowdown, but they have ruled out a “flood” of stimulus like Beijing has unleashed in the past, which quickly juiced growth rates but left a mountain of debt.
Support - Measures - Time - Analysts - Conditions
With support measures expected to take some time to kick in, most analysts believe conditions in China are likely to get worse before they get better, and see a further slowdown to 6.3 percent this year.
On a quarterly basis, growth eased to 1.5 percent inOct-Dec from 1.6 percent in the preceding period. Analysts had expected 1.5 percent.
However, some analysts believe...
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