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A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

  • "September industrial output rose 3.1% from a year earlier, missing expectations, down from August's 5.3%, and marking the slowest growth since March 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic," Reuters added.

Driving the news: Contributing factors include computer chip shortages, power cuts at steel mills and a construction slowdown during the pandemic, as signs of stress pile up in China’s real estate development sector, per the New York Times.

  • "Growth is under pressure from government controls aimed at making the energy-hungry economy more efficient and at reducing reliance on debt that Chinese leaders worry is dangerously high and could cause financial problems," according to AP.

What they're saying: National Bureau of Statistics spokesperson Fu Linghui warned "the current international environment uncertainties are mounting, and the domestic economic recovery is still unstable and uneven," per an NYT translation.

Flashback: China ended 2020 as the only major country to see its economy grow rather than shrink during the pandemic.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Dec 6, 2021 - Axios Denver

New Colorado economic outlook shows slowing job growth in 2022

Expand chart
Data: Colorado Business Economic Outlook; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Colorado is expected to exceed pre-pandemic employment levels in 2022, but job growth will come slower than this year.

The latest: The Colorado Business Economic Outlook set for release Monday suggests we will no longer rank in the top 10 states for employment growth in 2021 or 2022.

Dec 5, 2021 - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.