China’s economic growth slowed to 6.9% in Q3 of 2015, the weakest rate since the global financial crisis.
The year-on-year growth rate is also below the government’s 7% target.
Though slightly above expectations, the data is expected to raise pressure on policymakers to step up monetary policy to stem the slowdown.
China’s economy has been hit by extreme stock market volatility over the summer and weak economic data, causing concern on markets around the world.
Most analysts were expecting growth figures of 6.8% for Q3 of 2015.
Imports saw a sharp fall for the past month while inflation eased by more than expected, adding to fears of a rapid slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.
China has been attempting to shift from an export-led economy to a consumer and services-led one.
Beijing set an official growth target of “about 7%” for the overall year but PM Li Keqiang said a lower growth rate was also acceptable, as long as enough new jobs were created.
Analysts say the steep fall in imports suggests domestic demand is not as strong as the government would have hoped.
The slowdown comes despite repeated interest rate cuts and other stimulus measures introduced by Beijing.
They could be seen in the industrial production data, in heavy industry and other sectors.
In Q2 of 2015, growth did beat expectations, coming in at 7% from the previous year, matching growth in the first three months of the year.
Economists are, however, continuing to call for more government action, as volatility in the stock markets sparks concerns of financial turmoil and potential social unrest.