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China’s economic growth has halved—and it is set to halve again

The immediate problem is the trade war but there are structural issues at home causing deeper malaise 

By George Magnus  

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Vladimir Smirnov/Tass/PA Images

China announced last week that its economic growth had slowed to 6.2 per cent in the year to the second quarter of 2019, the lowest rate since 1992, and half the rate of the mid-2000s.

The official GDP data tell us next to nothing about how China’s economy is really doing. The figures are manicured to show a trend which lacks any sense of cyclicality or volatility.

Other data, though, allow us to see that the economy slowed through 2018 because…

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