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BEIJING (Reuters) - China is expected to report on Friday that economic growth slowed to its weakest in nearly three decades in 2019 amid a bruising trade war with the United States, and more stimulus steps are expected this year to help avert sharper slowdown.
While recent data have pointed to some signs of improvement in the ailing manufacturing sector, and a newly-signed Sino-U.S. trade deal has helped lift business confidence, analysts are not sure if the gains can be sustained.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect the economy to have grown 6.0 percent in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, unchanged from the previous quarter’s pace, which was the slowest since the first quarter of 1992, the earliest quarterly data on record.
For the whole of 2019, growth is expected to slow from 6.6% in 2018 to 6.1% — the weakest since 1990 — and cool further to 5.9% in 2020, a separate Reuters poll showed, reinforcing views that Beijing will roll out more stimulus measures.
Policy sources have told Reuters that Beijing plans to set a lower economic growth target of around 6% this year from last year’s 6-6.5%, relying on increased infrastructure spending to ward off a sharper slowdown.
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