China’s economic growth could slow to the weakest level on record in the first quarter, according to a state-run newspaper.

“It is not difficult to determine that this year our country’s economy will continue to bear pressure, with a conservative estimate for full-year cumulative growth of about 6.3 per cent and the possibility that growth for the present quarter could reach 6 per cent,” according to a front-page commentary on Monday in the Economic Information Daily, a newspaper run by China’s official Xinhua news agency.

That would push quarterly growth below the 6.4 per cent pace seen in the final quarter of 2018, which was the weakest reading since the global financial crisis, and mark the slowest pace of growth since quarterly readings began in the early 1990s.

China’s economy grew 6.6 per cent in 2018, the slowest annual growth since 1990, when the country was reeling from international sanctions following the Tiananmen Square massacre.

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