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China Q3 GDP growth dips to near 30-year low

China's economy rose 6.0% year over year in the third quarter, slowing from the 6.2% annual growth recorded in the previous three-month period, preliminary data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The reading came in below the consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday of a 6.1% annual rise, and marks the slowest growth in 27-and-a-half years, Reuters reported. For the first nine months of 2019, GDP increased by 6.2% on a yearly basis to 69.780 trillion yuan.

The country is targeting a growth rate between 6% and 6.5% this year. S&P Global Ratings expects China's GDP to grow by 6.2% in 2019 as it believes targeted policy easing and infrastructure investment will support growth, though the manufacturing sector remains a challenge. In 2020, Ratings projects Chinese GDP growth to drop to 5.8%.

"Pressure on economic activity should intensify in the coming months," wrote Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, in a note, adding that cooling global demand will continue to weigh on exports and infrastructure spending will slow in the near term.

Monetary policy easing may be announced soon but it will take time to aid economic growth, Evans-Pritchard added.

Industrial production increased by 5.8% year over year in September, up from 4.4% growth in August and exceeding the consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday of a 5.0% growth. Yearly factory output growth rate for the first nine months of the year came in at 5.6%.

Retail sales increased by 7.8% year over year in September, up from the 7.5% rise recorded in the previous month and meeting the Econoday consensus estimate. Annual growth for the first three quarters of 2019 came in at 8.2%, with a 16.8% increase in online sales during the period.

Fixed asset investment, excluding that by rural households, climbed 5.4% year over year in the first three quarters of 2019 to 46.120 trillion yuan. Investment in high-tech manufacturing rose 12.6%, while that in high-tech services grew 13.8%.

The unemployment rate in urban areas came in at 5.2% in September, similar to August. The number of employed people in urban areas came in at 10.97 million in the first nine months of 2019.

As of Oct. 17, US$1 was equivalent to 7.08 Chinese yuan.