China's economic growth slowed to a 6.9 percent annual rate between August and September, which is the slowest expansion since 2009.
While growth slowed, it was still slightly better than economists predicted, as the services sector offset some declines in manufacturing.
China's government has been trying to bolster growth with interest rate cuts and other actions, and some experts predict more stimulus efforts may be coming.
The author of a book about China's economic problems, Gordon Chang, says if the economy is growing at a 6.9 percent annual rate, then electricity consumption would probably grow at a similar rate. But in a VOA interview he said it actually rose just one percent. "China is growing at a much slower pace than Beijing reports.”
However, an expert on China's economy, Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says China's economy is doing better than many critics think. In a VOA interview, Lardy said some state-owned companies and industries are struggling, but many private firms, particularly in the services area, are expanding.
Slowing growth in the world's second largest economy is a problem for many other nations because China's huge economic expansion has helped growth in the many other nations that sell it raw materials and other goods.