China's economy cools as trade war with USA heats up

China Growth Slows to 6.5%; Finance Officials Try to Soothe Worried Investors

But in more positive financial news for China, the nation is still on track to meet an official growth target this year of around 6.5 percent.

It compares with growth of 6.8 per cent in the first quarter and 6.7 per cent in the second.

Investors had also been jittery after China's GDP numbers were released, showing that economic growth slowed to 6.5 percent year-over-year in the third quarter.

The world's second-largest economy experienced 6.5 percent growth compared to the same quarter a year ago, but was slightly behind the first two quarters of 2018, which were 6.8 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the economy to expand 6.6% in the three months from July to September.

Importantly, second quarter sequential growth was revised down from the previously reported 1.8 percent, suggesting the economy carried over less momentum into the second half than many analysts had expected.

This saw China retaliate with 10 percent tariffs on $60 billion (£46 billion) of USA imports.

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But following the data, some say growth could slow even more dramatically next year. But the stronger sales drove a record trade surplus with the United States that could inflame the already-heated dispute between the two economic superpowers.

So far exports to the U.S. have held up but economists expect trade frictions to weigh on growth in the coming months and into next year.

The factory output reading was the weakest since February 2016.

Authorities are also likely to start once again pumping money into infrastructure projects, after slowing down the projects a year ago as a matter of financial prudence.

Faced with a cooling economy, stock market wobbles and a yuan currency under pressure, policymakers are shifting their priorities to reducing risks to growth by gradually easing monetary and fiscal policy.

The comments by Mr Yi as well as China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Liu Shiyu and Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission chief Guo Shuqing are the most concerted effort yet in a series of recent top-level statements targeting concern over the equities decline and the economy.

China's GDP has dropped to its weakest level in nearly nine years as US tariffs appear to hit their mark.

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