BEIJING, China – China’s industrial capacity utilization rate was largely unchanged in the third quarter, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In a statement published on Saturday, the government bureau said the capacity utilization rate for the three months ending 30 September 2018 declined a fraction from 76.8% to 76.5%.

The flat nature of the utilization rate was even more evident in the figure for the 9 months to 30 September 2018 which at 76.6%, matched the corresponding period for the previous year.

The statistics, while showing no growth, are to be expected given the  slowdown in industrial output growth and slower economic growth, a government statement said.

Data released on Friday revealed China’s value-added industrial output expanded 5.8% in September, the slowest pace this year.

China’s economy expanded 6.5% in the third quarter, down from 6.8% in the first quarter, and 6.7% in the previous quarter. The growth for the 3 quarters however was slightly above the government’s budgeted target of 6.5%. Instead it came in at 6.7%.