July 15: China's growth slowed to its weakest pace in almost three decades in the second quarter, with the US-China trade war and weakening global demand weighing on the world's number-two economy, official data showed Monday.
The slowing economy makes it more difficult for President Xi Jinping to fight back forcefully against the US — which is using tariffs as leverage to try to force Beijing into opening up its economy.
The 6.2 percent figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics was in line with a survey of analysts by AFP and down from a 6.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.
The GDP figures are within the government's target range of 6.0-6.5 percent for the whole year, down from the 6.6 percent growth China put up in 2018.
“Economic conditions are still severe both at home and abroad, global economic growth is slowing down and the external instabilities and uncertainties are increasing,” said NBS spokesman Mao Shengyong.
“The economy is under new downward pressure,” he said in prepared remarks.
Beijing has introduced measures this year to boost the economy, but they have not been enough to offset a domestic slowdown and softening overseas demand — made worse by a punishing trade war with its biggest trading partner country, the US.
Exports to the world rose only 0.1 percent on-year during the first six months.
Analysts widely expect Beijing will step up support for the economy in coming months.