Sputtering growth, soaring debt and an escalating trade war with the United States are increasingly weighing on China’s economy. China’s government on Friday reported that the economy grew by 6.5 percent over the three months that ended in September compared with a year ago. While fast by global standards, the pace is China’s slowest since early 2009, during the depths of the global financial crisis. China has reported growth figures over the past two years that painted a picture of an economy that is gamely chugging along, despite the country’s lingering problems and widespread doubts over the reliability of official numbers. A different narrative is emerging this year, one of a slowing economy that is forcing Beijing to make some difficult choices. Chinese shoppers have said they are spending less and downgrading their purchases, like staying home instead of going out, or drinking beer instead of cocktails. Business confidence […]