China posts slowest economic growth in nearly 3 decades

Chinese economy grew by 6.6% last year, the slowest rate in nearly three decades, agencies said citing the country’s statistics bureau on Monday.

The economy grew by 6.4% in the final quarter of 2018, it added.

The World Bank said China’s economic growth rate may fall further to 6.5% and even more after March, when the three-month truce ends in the ongoing US-China trade war, if the two sides fail to reach a compromise.

Other factors that slowed the country’s growth last year were high levels of debt, negligence of private companies and too much focus on heavy infrastructure investment.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang said the current growth rate will be sustained in the coming quarters through measures such as tax cuts and easier bank loans.

Steep fall in exports and controls on investment have impacted growth, said Max Zenglein, head of the Economics Program at the Mercator Institute for China Studies.

China’s debt is more than 300% of GDP, according to the International Institute of Finance.