China fourth-quarter GDP grows 6%, in line with expectations and hovering near 30-year low

A man cycles under the Guomao Bridge in Beijing, China January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s economy grew 6.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019 from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous quarter’s pace.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 6.0% in the October-December quarter, hovering at the weakest pace in nearly three decades.

Facing sluggish demand at home and abroad and U.S. trade pressure, Chinese policymakers have been rolling out a stream of growth boosting measures over the past two years, while trying to contain financial and debt risks.

The world’s second-largest economy grew 6.1% in 2019, the slowest in 29 years but still within the government’s target of 6-6.5%. Analysts had expected it to expand 6.1%, down from 6.6% in 2018.

GDP grew 1.5% in the fourth quarter from the previous three months as expected, the same pace as in the July-September quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill