China's economic growth hit a three-decade low in 2018, adding to pressure on Beijing to beef up stimulus measures and settle a tariff war with Washington.
European shares slipped on Monday from six-week highs after China's fourth-quarter growth figures confirmed a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy with 2018 its weakest year since 1990.
According to data provided today by the National Statistics Bureau, the Chinese economy grew by 6.6% previous year.
Contributing to almost 30 percent of the world's economic growth, the country's economy has remained the largest contributor to global economic growth, Ning said.
This comes as a growing number of foreign companies are moving production away from China-some because of the trade war, while others for economic reasons. Jobs, exports, commodity producing nations - we all depend on China to buy stuff from us.
"The year of 2018 was the turning point for China's population structure, which witnessed a negative growth for the first time", Yi predicted.
Growth held up through much of 2018 despite President Donald Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese goods in a fight over Beijing's technology ambitions.
A Bloomberg gauge that estimates monthly GDP rose to 6.6 percent in December from 6.35 percent a month earlier.
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CHINA-US TRADE: Stock markets had been buoyed Friday by a Bloomberg News report that Chinese officials offered to buy more goods and services from the USA, potentially eliminating its trade deficit by 2024.
China had 222 million people aged 60 years or older as of 2015, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Chen Xingdong, chief China economist at BNP Paribas, said investors should not expect the latest round of stimulus to produce similar results as during the 2008-09 global crisis, when Beijing's huge spending package quickly boosted growth.
Most analysts polled by Reuters at the beginning of this year believe the yuan will weaken below 7 within six months.
Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping told the same story at a political function in Beijing on Monday, ostentatiously telling top officials to focus on "defusing major risks to ensure sustained and healthy economic development and social stability", as the state-run Xinhua news service put it.
Berlin-based think tank Mercator Institute for China Studies, published a report January 10 projecting that if the trade dispute can't be settled, China's export sector could "take an immediate hit, leading to mass layoffs of workers". The People's Bank of China has been quietly guiding interbank borrowing costs down without actually cutting official interest rates, and the fiscal authorities have pressed on with tax cuts and expedited government bond sales, among other policies.
International Monetary Fund chief economist Gita Gopinath said that while the downward revisions were modest, "we believe the risks to more significant downward corrections are rising".
Meantime, a downturn in iPhone sales in China has hurt Apple Inc.'s share price this month and raised question marks over whether the consumer can keep cushioning the economy's re-balancing. Auto sales in the world's biggest vehicle market shrank for the first time in 2018 since the 1990s.