China's economic growth has slowed down in the latest quarter, the slowest since early 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis, latest data say.
The world's second-largest economy grew by 6.9 percent in the three months ended in September, data showed on Monday. That was down from the previous quarter's 7 percent.
Weakening trade and manufacturing have fuelled concern about possible job losses and unrest. The communist government has cut interest rates five times since last November in an effort to shore up growth.
However, consumer spending accelerated over the course of the quarter, helping to shore up the expansion. Growth in retail sales picked up from 10.5 percent in July to 10.9 percent in September. Spending on e-commerce grew by 36 percent in the third quarter over a year earlier.
"Continued downward pressures from real estate and exports caused GDP growth to drop," said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a report. "But robust consumption and infrastructure prevented a sharper slowdown."
Much of China's slowdown over the past five years is self-imposed as communist leaders try to steer the economy to more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and service industry instead of trade and investment.