China's economy weakened to its slowest pace in three decades last year as weaker domestic demand and trade tensions with the United States took their toll, official data showed on Friday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed plans to further open up the Chinese economy during a Tuesday address. Those measures included significantly lowering import tariffs for autos, decreasing duties on other products, enforcing the legal intellectual property of foreign firms and improving the investment environment for international companies.
China aims to expand its economy by around 6.5% this year, the same as in 2017, while pressing ahead with its campaign to reduce risks in the financial system, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday. The goal was kept unchanged even though the economy grew 6.9% last year and exceeded the government's target.
The level of risk facing China’s financial system could be higher than was seen in the United States before the global crash, according to a former Chinese finance minister. Speaking at a forum in Beijing over the weekend, Lou Jiwei, now chairman of the National Social Security Fund Council, also described the state of China’s financial sector as “messy”.
China's economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data - the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing's official annual expansion target of about 6.5% and is good news for the global economy since China's impact and the better-than-expected data is likely to cheer investors around the world.
China's economy grew at an annual rate of 6.9% between April and June according to official figures, slightly higher than forecast. The growth rate, which compares expansion with the same three months in the previous year, was the same as in the first quarter of 2017.
China's economy grew 6.7% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same time last year, announced the government. It is the slowest quarterly growth in the Chinese economy in seven years, but in line with expectations and China's own growth targets.
China faces a tough battle to keep its economy growing by at least 6.5% over the next five years while creating more jobs and restructuring inefficient industries, Premier Li Keqiang said as he opened China's annual parliament.
Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted for the sixth month in a row in January - and hit its lowest level since 2012. According to the government's latest factory survey, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed a reading of 49.4 for the month compared to December's reading of 49.7.
China saw imports drop for the twelfth month in a row in October giving further cause for concern over the Chinese economy. Imports by the world's biggest trader of goods fell 18.8% from a year earlier to $130.8bn, a slight improvement on September's 20.4% decline.