China’s economy cools as trade war with U.S. heats up

BEIJING – China’s economic growth sank to its lowest level since the global financial crisis in the latest quarter, adding to challenges for its communist leaders as they fight a tariff battle with Washington.

The government reported Friday the world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.5 percent over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, down from the previous quarter’s 6.7 percent.
 
Forecasters expected China’s economy to cool after Beijing tightened credit controls to rein in a debt boom. But the slowdown has been deeper than expected, prompting Chinese leaders to reverse course and encourage banks to lend.
  
Exports have begun to weaken after President Donald Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 percent on Chinese goods in a fight over Beijing’s technology policy.

Wall Street forecasters expect China’s economic growth to continue slowing, noting trade uncertainties and a weakening housing sector.

“Looking ahead, we also see greater downward pressure on growth,” Societe Generale analysts said in a research note. “The still resilient residential investment should eventually capitulate under the weight of poor housing sales. The puzzling strength in manufacturing investment despite deteriorating business confidence may also not last long amid trade uncertainties.”

Growth in retail spending and investment slowed, though to still-robust rates.

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