• China’s 2018 economic growth fell to a three-decade low, adding to pressure on Beijing to settle a tariff war with Washington.
  • The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6.6% over a year earlier, down from 2017’s 6.9%, official data showed on January 21.
  • Growth in the three months ending in December dipped to 6.4% the lowest quarterly level since the 2008 global crisis from the previous quarter’s 6.5%.
  • Communist leaders are trying to steer China to slower, more self-sustaining growth based on consumer spending instead of trade and investment.
  • But the deceleration has been sharper than expected, prompting Beijing to step up government spending and order banks to lend more to shore up growth and avoid politically dangerous job losses.
  • Exports held up through most of 2018 despite President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes on Chinese imports in a fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions.
  • But they contracted in December as the penalties began to depress U.S. demand.
  • Economic growth in 2018 was the lowest since the 1990s 3.9% in the aftermath of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
  • Growth in investment, retail spending and factory activity all declined, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.
  • The impact of U.S. tariffs was limited, but China faces pressure from growing global support for import controls, volatile financial markets, and declining investment spending.
  • Downward pressure on the economy is increasing.
  • The Chinese economy’s resilience and ability to resist shocks and the long-term trend of stability will not change.
  • The slowdown is adding to pressure on President Xi Jinping’s government to settle its costly dispute with Washington.
  • The two sides have imposed tariff hikes of up to 25% on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s goods in the fight over U.S. complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.
  • Washington is pressing China to roll back plans for state-led industry development that its trading partners say violate its market-opening obligations.