China’s growth falls on construction


BEIJING • Construction and manufacturing were the main drags for China’s slower than expected third-quarter (3Q) economic growth, while technology offered some support, supplementary data released on Saturday show.

Growth in the construction sector slowed to 2.5% from a year earlier compared to 4% in the previous quarter, the statistics bureau said. The financial sector also grew at a slower pace of 4%, while information technology continued to expand at a fast clip of 32.8%, compared to 31.7% in the 2Q.

The main GDP report released last Friday showed the overall economy expanded 6.5%. That’s the slowest pace since the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2009.

The economy has faced increasing headwinds this year, with simmering trade tensions and a slumping stock market hurting confidence in the outlook. Those problems have prompted officials to step up stimulus and pledge further support, but the impact of those measures has yet to kick in and more may be needed.

The weak construction reading tallies with data in last Friday’s GDP report that showed infrastructure investment continuing to contract. Manufacturing growth further slowed to 6% from 6.6% in the 2Q, the weakest level since the set of the data was first available last March.

The services sector remains the dominant driver of growth and accounts for more than half of total economic output.

Third-quarter services growth edged up to 7.9% from 7.8% in the second.

Growth in real-estate-services activity slowed to 4.1% from 4.2% as the government’s buying curbs started to bite on brokers.

The services sector accounted for 53.1% of GDP value in the first three quarters, slowing from 54.1 in the first half, while consumption contributed 78% to growth in the six-month period, data from last Friday showed.