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China's economy has hit its worst pace since the global financial crisis. On Friday, Beijing's third-quarter numbers landed below expectations. Growing by 6.5% is a figure most big economies can only dream of, but for China, it's the latest sign that this year marks a slowdown. A years-long official campaign to fight rising debt is beginning to bite.
And officials are trying to deal with fears sparked by a US trade war, as Reuters' Ryan Woo explains from Beijing.>> We have seen how the trade war has affected China's stock markets, how that has affected the Chinese currency, and that is worrying, and that unsettles people. One important thing to watch out for is whether the trade war would lead to massive joblessness in China.
So far we have seen some pockets of job losses, I mean, mainly in Guangdong Province in the South. You hear stories, and you have official statistics showing thousands and thousands of people being laid off.>> Talk of percentage points may seem incremental, however, Friday's numbers had some analysts worried growth could slow more dramatically next year than they expect.
And China's economy is a cornerstone of the world's economy.>> China has a middle class of 300 to 400 million people. If the Chinese economy is slowing drastically, you will see definitely a change in the behavior of this middle class portion of the economy. And if things get bad, you'll see Chinese people buying less Nike shoes, iPhones, Michael Kors dresses, to even GM cars.
>> China's once high-flying automakers are one area facing the brunt of a weaker economy. Last week, data showed car sales fell the most in seven years in September. GM and Volkswagen reported double-digit declines.