SHANGHAI — China’s gross domestic product rose 6.9 percent in the three months through September from a year ago, marking the country’s slowest quarterly expansion of its economy since the first quarter of 2009.
The National Bureau of Statistics released the third-quarter figures on Monday. While the numbers beat economist predictions of 6.8 percent, they do represent a slowdown from the growth registered in the second quarter, when GDP rose 7 percent.
Chinese authorities touted the success of government stimulus in helping the economy slide too far below its 2015 goal of 7 percent GDP growth, though the continued slow pace of growth has led many observers to predict further stimulus measures to manifest in the near future.
“Looming deflation risk suggests that the People’s Bank of China will adjust the benchmark interest rates, especially lending rate, down further,” ANZ economists Li-Gang Liu and Louis Lam, said in a note.
The Chinese government has already cut interest rates five times since November last year, as well as boosting infrastructure spending in recent months.
Particularly helpful to the overall economic picture was growth in the services sector and a stronger-than-expected performance in retail sales for the month of September, with an increase of 10.9 percent year-on-year.
These numbers helped counter continued weakness in the manufacturing sector with industrial output growth of 5.7 percent on the year for the month of September (experts had predicted a growth rate of 6 percent).
Import and exports continued to decrease, with the total values of exports down 1.1 percent and imports down by 17.7 percent in September.
Consumer prices continued to show modest gains in September, with consumer prices up by 1.6 percent year-on-year, or 0.1 percent month-on-month.
The producer prices for industrial products in September, however, dropped by 5.9 percent year-on-year, or 0.4 percent month-on-month. Purchasing prices for industrial producers also fell, with a drop of 6.8 percent on the year, or 0.6 percent on the month.