A Chinese state-run newspaper warned that GDP growth could slow to record lows in the first three months of the year before picking back up in the second half.
“It is not difficult to determine that this our country’s economy will continue to bear pressure, with a conservative estimate for full-year cumulative growth of about 6.3% and the possibility that growth for the present quarter could reach 6%,” wrote the Economic Information Daily on a front-page commentary, reported by the Financial Times.
China recorded 6.4% year-on-year growth for the last quarter of 2018, itself the weakest level since the financial crisis. This brought the whole-year rate down to a three-decade low of 6.6%, raising concerns over how prolonged the slowdown will be.
The government is yet to reveal its official target for 2019, which is normally done in March at the National People’s Congress, but has repeatedly stressed a focus on more “sustainable” growth. Analysts anticipate the goal to be lower than that of 2018.