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Report: US trade row may cut China GDP 1 percentage point, Beijing agency says

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Report: US trade row may cut China GDP 1 percentage point, Beijing agency says

Assuming a worst-case scenario, China's economic growth in 2019 could be 1 percentage point lower than expected due to the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S., a senior official from the country's top policy-making body said, the South China Morning Post reported May 17.

Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Yang, who was speaking to Taiwanese businesspeople doing business in mainland China, said while a hit to the economy is expected, no structural changes will be needed in the long term.

In March, Beijing lowered its economic growth target for 2019 to a range of 6% to 6.5%, saying trade tensions adversely impacted business conditions.

The trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies further intensified this month after the U.S. raised the tariff rate on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25%, prompting China to retaliate with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods, effective June 1.

Washington has also proposed a 25% tariff on Chinese goods with an annual trade value of about $300 billion not already subject to a tariff of the same rate.

With trade tensions clouding the economic outlook, China's top economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, said it would continue to implement measures aimed at boosting growth in the private sector and helping small and medium-sized enterprises, according to the South China Morning Post.

China's economy expanded 6.4% year over year in the first quarter of 2019, matching the pace of growth in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Chinese GDP grew 6.6% in 2018, exceeding the government's target of 6.5% expansion.