China's 2018 growth slows to 28-year low

By Economic IndicatorsFOXBusiness

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President Trump on the U.S. trade negotiations with China.

China's 2018 growth slowed to the lowest in nearly three decades, which puts pressure on Beijing to add more stimulus.

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The economy cooled in the fourth quarter under pressure from lower domestic demand and the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

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Policymakers have pledged more support this year to reduce the risk of massive job losses, but have ruled out a "flood" of stimulus like that which Beijing has relied on in the past, which quickly juiced growth rates but left a mountain of debt, according to Reuters.

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) grew at the slowest pace since the global financial crisis, easing to 6.4 percent on-year as expected from 6.5 percent in the third quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

That pulled full-year growth down to 6.6 percent, the slowest annual pace since 1990.

GDP in 2017 grew a revised 6.8 percent.

Analysts says stimulus measure take time to work, which raises concerns that conditions are likely to get worse before they get better.

Factory output picked up unexpectedly to 5.7 percent from 5.4 percent, but it was one of the few bright spots, along with a stronger services sector.

Reuters calculations showed average daily steel output hit its lowest level since March as producers cut output amid shrinking profit margins.

Other data on Monday showed investment and retail sales continued to languish, while the jobless rate edged higher.

Other data in recent weeks showed exports and imports unexpectedly shrank last month, while falling factory orders point to a further drop in activity in coming months and more job shedding.

Even if China and the United States agree on a trade deal in current talks,  analysts said it would be no panacea for China or its exporters.

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Trade negotiators are facing an early March deadline and Washington has threatened to sharply hike tariffs if there are no substantial signs of agreement.

China's Vice Premier and lead negotiator Liu He is due to visit Washington for the next round of talks at the end of the month.