BEIJING (AP) – China’s economic growth slowed to a 26-year low in the latest quarter as a tariff war with Washington weighed on exports and auto sales and other domestic activity weakened.
The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6% in the three months ending in September, down from the previous quarter’s 6.2%, data showed Friday.
The slump increases pressure on Chinese leaders to avert politically dangerous job losses as they fight a tariff war with President Donald Trump over Beijing’s trade surplus and technology ambitions.
The slowdown has global repercussions, depressing Chinese demand for industrial components from its Asian neighbors, soybeans and other food from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers and other commodities.
Trade has suffered due to U.S. tariff hikes, but the biggest impact on Chinese growth appears to come from cooling domestic activity including consumer spending and investment.
Retail sales growth declined to 8.2% over a year earlier in the first three quarters of 2019, down from the first half’s 8.4%. Factory output growth slowed to 5.6% in the January-September period, down from 6% in the first six months of the year.
China’s exports to the United States, its biggest foreign market, fell 21.9% in September from a year ago. That helped to drag down overall Chinese exports by 1.4%. Imports of American goods sank 15.7%.
The latest economic growth figure was the lowest since China began reporting data by quarters in 1993. Annual growth tumbled to 3.9% in 1990 but rebounded to 9.3% the following year.