China’s second-quarter economic growth likely slowed to its weakest pace in at least 27 years, a Reuters poll showed, as demand at home and abroad weakened amid a bruising trade war with the United States.
Policymakers are likely to ratchet up support for the economy to fend off a sharper slowdown and job losses, but analysts say the room for aggressive stimulus is limited by fears of exacerbating debt and structural risks.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect China to report gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.2 percent in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 1992, the earliest quarterly data on record.
That would mark a further loss of momentum from the previous quarter’s 6.4 percent, suggesting that a spate of measures to cut taxes, spur lending and investment have yet to kick in.
A Reuters poll published on Wednesday forecast China’s economic growth would slow to 6.2 percent in 2019, the weakest in nearly 30 years.
“The economy still faces downward pressure and domestic demand is insufficient, so we need policy steps to boost aggregate demand,” said Lian Ping, chief economist at Bank of Communications.
China’s overall exports are likely to fall 2 percent in 2019 from the previous year as higher US tariffs start to bite, while total imports could drop 3 percent, he said.
In 2018 exports rose an annual 9.9 percent, while imports grew 15.8 percent.